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 work 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 focussed 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.
In December 2016 the second phase of funding was agreed and an additional four projects were awarded at a total cost of £1.24m. We invited research applications which sought to enhance the effectiveness of therapy through improved drug delivery systems or the use of novel technologies. The four projects use distinctly different approaches to deliver treatments of brain tumour patients.
This has brought our total expenditure of the Brain Tumour Initiative to over £3m as planned in 2014.