Thank you to everyone who contacted their MPs and asked them to attend the April 2016 debate on funding for brain tumour research.

MPs debated the Petitions Committee report calling for an increase in national research spending on better diagnosis and treatment of brain tumours.

Health Minister announces new measures for brain tumour research

Thanks to your help we’re pleased to let you know that the government announced a series of new measures. Health Minister George Freeman MP announced the government will:
  • Seek to improve levels of earlier diagnosis and include brain cancer in the Genomics England programme
  • Request the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to produce a national register within a year to examine how public funds are spent on research
  • Set up a “Task and Finish” working group at the Department of Health looking at areas highlighted by the Petitions Committee report.
Children with Cancer UK will keep you updated of further campaign developments, and also of the life-saving projects we’re funding through our Brain Tumour Initiative.

Background: the parliamentary debate and report

The debate was the result of the Petitions Committee first ever report into funding for research into brain tumours, published on 14 March 2016. The report covers:
  • Awareness and diagnosis
  • Funding levels
  • Barriers to research
  • Setting research priorities
  • Burden of disease
  • Availability of non-therapeutic drugs.
The report was put together and published as a result of the increase funding into brain tumour research petition, which gained over 120,000 signatures on the Government’s petitions website. Read the Petitions Committee report into funding for research into brain tumours

Background: Why increased funding for brain tumour research is so important

  • Brain and spinal cord tumours are the most common solid tumour to occur in children, with around 400 new cases every year in the UK
  • 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 has been allocated to this devastating disease since 2002
  • Brain tumours are one of the most common cancers to affect children and young people
  • Many survivors of childhood brain tumours are left with life-altering, long term disabilities
  • Incidences of brain tumours are increasing
  • 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.

Who you're helping

Brain tumours kill more children than any other form of cancer. Some childhood brain tumours are untreatable and leave few, if any, survivors. Rhiley was diagnosed with a rare brain and spinal tumour at just two years old. She sadly passed away in April 2015, two weeks after her third birthday. With your help, we aim to increase survival rates and improve life after treatment for children with all types of brain tumours, including those that are currently untreatable. Read Rhiley's story
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