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If only brain tumour research could be funded in the same way as leukaemia and other cancers

Andy Burnham announces plan for Cancer Treatment Fund

The LBritain Against Cancer Conferenceabour Party has pledged to increase the budget of the Cancer Drugs Fund from £280m to £330m, if elected in next year’s General Election. Labour says it will continue the work of the Cancer Drugs Fund and will expand to include treatment such as radiotherapy and surgery as well as drugs. Labour claims that 40,000 cancer patients each year stand to benefit from radiotherapy which they do not currently receive. This is great news for brain tumour patients as radiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments currently available yet many are currently denied access.

Labour have also promised that any patient in receipt of a drugs from the Cancer Drugs Fund would continue to be offered that drug after concerns about patients being taken off drugs and removed from treatment lists due to new evaluations. Figures from Cancer Research UK also show that while half of radiotherapy patients should receive Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy, it is currently only received by a third.

We welcome this pledge to increase funds for treatment and drugs for rare cancers such as brain tumours. We support any pledge that puts brain tumour patient’s options and gives access to innovative and effective treatment to improve their lives and help them live longer.
The Cancer Drugs Fund is money set aside by the government to pay for drugs that have not been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and are not available within the NHS in England. This may be because the drugs are not cost effective or have not been researched fully. Brain Tumour Research benefits from this fund because it opens up the possibility for different treatment for patients with rare diseases such as brain tumours.

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