Brain tumours are one of the most common cancers to affect children and young people.
They cause more deaths in this age group than any other cancer and many survivors are left with life-altering, long-term disabilities.
In March we took part in Brain Tumour Awareness Month (BTAM) to highlight the importance of increasing funding for childhood brain tumour research. We shared content on our website and social media showing the difference our research is making and also highlighting why it’s so important to fund more research into childhood brain tumours. TV presenter, Nadia Sawalha, supported our Bake Club to raise awareness and funds.
Read more: Blog on the importance of research into brain tumours | Bake Club
Improving treatments for brain tumours in children
Some children may survive only a few months from diagnosis.Some brain tumours are curable, using aggressive treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Other brain tumours, however, remain incurable, with no effective treatment. Some children may survive only a few months from diagnosis.
For those who survive long-term, survival may come at high cost. The aggressive treatments can harm developing brains, causing physical and mental disabilities and a range of health problems.
We urgently need to fund more research to improve our understanding of childhood brain tumours, find more effective, less damaging treatments and save more young lives.
Read more: Children with brain tumours | Our Brain Tumour Campaign
Children with Cancer UK brain tumour initiative
Research into brain tumours, in general, and childhood brain tumours, in particular, has not been well-funded in the past despite the very high burden imposed by these tumours.
To address this, in 2014 we launched a new initiative to drive progress in childhood brain tumour research, committing funds of at least £3 million over three years for new brain tumour research.
Our researchers working together to share samples, data and expertise, both nationally and internationally.The first tranche of funding was awarded in March 2015 for four exciting new project grants worth £1.8m in total.
With this funding, four groups of researchers are taking forward vital research into four different types of childhood brain tumour: ependymoma, medulloblastoma, craniopharyngioma and high grade glioma.
An important feature of the four new projects is that they are all strongly collaborative, with researchers working together to share samples, data and expertise, both nationally and internationally.
In 2016, we are focusing on the very specific issue of drug delivery in childhood brain tumours. One of the major challenges in treating brain tumours is getting drugs through the ‘blood-brain barrier’ to reach the tumour. We hosted a highly successful workshop on this topic in February 2016, bringing together scientists and clinicians from around the world to share experiences and forge new research collaborations. We are now calling for applications for research projects addressing this issue and expect to award new grants by the end of the year.
Please text CURE to 81400 to donate £2 to our Brain Tumour Initiative.
Texts cost £2 plus standard network rate. Children with Cancer UK will receive 100% of your gift. For questions, call us on 020 7404 0808.
Read more: Brain Tumour Initiative | Brain Tumour research | Four new research projects