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

Cancer Campaign Group 2014 Report

The Cancer Campaign Group (CCG) is in the process of writing a report which will include an assessment of progress in cancer treatment since 2000. The report will form the basis of clear recommendations for government action that will form the basis of the CCG’s campaign ahead of the 2015 general election. As a member, Brain Tumour Research was asked to give its views on a range of topics which the CCG could help base its recommendations on.Icon-Campaigning
The first question focused how organisations within the NHS (NHS England, Department of Health, Public Health England, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local authorities) could improve cancer services within the next 5 years. Brain Tumour Research made the following recommendations:
• NHS England: Better focus on early diagnosis, speed up the time from 1st GP appointment to 1st specialist apt/diagnosis.
• Department of Health: Greater attention to Brain Tumours in allocation of research funding.
• Public Health England: Raise awareness of Brain Tumours through a public campaign.
• Clinical Commissioning Groups: Commission more proton therapy sites
• Local authorities: There is a lack of focus on rehabilitation – in particular with children. Make GPs more aware of brain tumour symptoms and aim to increase the speed of referral and start of treatment.
A coordinated, NHS wide campaign with these measures could make a significant impact in saving and improving the lives of the thousands diagnosed with brain tumours every year. Brain Tumour Research hopes that the CCG will highlighted these proposals in their report and help shine a light on a forgotten cancer.
The second section of the questions asked involved what Brain Tumour Research saw as the most significant achievements in improving cancer services, treatment or outcomes since 2000? There have been many noteworthy advances across all areas of cancer services and Brain Tumour Research felt it better to break them down into categories:
• Novalis Tx (July 2011) which has the ability to kill cancerous cells without invasive surgery
• SonoWand (November 2013) which enables more accurate brain surgery
• The approval by NICE of temozolomide which helps patients whom initial chemotherapy has failed makes an important difference to patient outcomes
• National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) (February 2011), the first dedicated brain tumour unit.
• The foundation of the NCRI which, despite our concerns with limited scope of the membership and the data consequently omitted, provides measure of spending on cancer research, site-specific and otherwise, is a major step in the right direction
• The founding of CancerResearchUK which has helped drive research funding towards finding cures for cancers.
• The Macmillan Cancer Support ‘Access to Cancer Treatment’ campaign provides information for people who feel they would benefit from a treatment or drug that isn’t routinely funded by their local health body.
• The founding of Site Specific Research Charities has helped drive research funding towards finding cures for specific cancers.
• The foundation of the APPG on Cancer and the APPG on brain tumours has been highly important in encouraging Parliamentarians to focus on the condition and the search for a cure.
While there have been successes since 2000 there are still great lengths to go until we can provide the care and the cure that every patient deserves. Brain Tumour Research supports the report and campaign of the CCG to raise the profile of cancer, and will continue to campaign for better funding for brain cancer research and care for patients.
To join our campaign sign our e-petition on research funding for brain tumours: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55378.

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