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

Cancer Taskforce ‘Statement of Intent’

  • The Cancer Taskforce has released its Statement of Intent outlining where it believes there are opportunities to reduce the ‘burden of cancer overall and to improve care for cancer patients’. This Statement gives an initial view of where the Taskforce believes the most progress can be made and the green shoots of the strategy that will be published in the summer of 2015.

The Statement, which can be found here, outlines the current state of cancer care in the UK, why the Taskforce feels this is a time for a review and how it feels care in the UK can be improved. Brain Tumour Research completely agrees with the Taskforce that a complete review of cancer services in the UK, where survival rates are continually lower than European averages, is needed and that this review should be as far reaching and fundamental as possible.

Many of the problems identified and ambitions for a better system seem excellent and we hope that we do see:

  • An increase in 5 and 10 year survival rates
  • Improved equality in treatment across the country
  • Improved experience of care for every patient
  • Continuous improvement in long-term quality of life

However, despite these noble goals, we are extremely concerned about the lack of focus given to the importance of research into making these goals a reality.
As the Statement cites, survival rates for brain tumours have remained ‘stubbornly low’ while survival rates for breast, testicular and prostrate cancer (to name just three) have substantially improved in the last 40 years. Rather than the level of spending on brain tumours simply being ‘maintained’ we urge the Taskforce to join us in supporting a major boost for research into the cancers that need it the most.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to this devastating disease. This is unacceptable!

We are calling for the Cancer Taskforce and the Government to recognise the importance of research and:

1) Shine a spotlight on research funding for brain tumours
2) Incentivise treatment
3) Facilitate innovation

Without a significant increase in research funding for brain tumours, to £30-35 million a year, it could take over 100 years for survival rates to match those of other cancers and those with brain tumours will continue to suffer as a consequence.
For more details on our policies and to support the fight for fairer funding, please follow this link to our 2015 Manifesto ‘Invest in a Cure’.

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