Brain tumour research 'stepped up'

06 March 2014 09:10

Three new brain tumour research hubs are being launched in a bid to step up long-term research into brain cancer

Three new brain tumour research hubs are being launched in a bid to step up long-term research into brain cancer

Three new brain tumour research hubs are being launched in a bid to step up long-term research into brain cancer.

The Research Centres of Excellence, which will become active fundraising partners with the charity Brain Tumour Research (BTR), aim to revolutionise UK research into the condition.

It builds upon an existing partnership at the University of Portsmouth, which currently receives £1 million per year from the charity.

The investment is set to reach £20 million over five years as each of the four centres will receive £1 million per year.

Members of the public raise the money, including through donations or fundraising events, and many supporters have been affected by tumours in their own lives or have lost a loved one to the condition.

A BTR spokeswoman said the initiative is focused on developing much-needed sustainable and continuous research in what is an underfunded field.

Scientists will be trained to fulfil their potential to avoid them being tempted into other cancer research currently attracting more funding and greater job security, she added.

The idea is researchers will then be able to move between the different units to share expertise as knowledge and understanding of brain tumours increases.

Anyone who lives with the condition may be encouraged to note comments by the charity's chief executive Sue Farrington Smith that the new research facilities will "form a new and powerful network".

People currently suffering from the condition can also arrange travel insurance for cancer patients to ensure peace of mind should they plan to travel overseas this summer.

Farrington Smith explained meanwhile that as well as collaborating with one another the units will be working with other experts both in the UK and overseas "to accelerate progress in brain tumour research and make a clinical difference".

The ultimate aim of the initiative is to create "better futures for all those diagnosed and living with a brain tumour", she said.

"Only 18.8% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with an average of 50% across other cancers. Brain tumours are still responsible for more years of life lost than any other form of cancer, making it the most lethal form of cancer by this measure."

The launch of the new centres sees Queen Mary University of London in collaboration with UCL Institute of Neurology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (London) and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry join the already established Centre of Excellence at the University of Portsmouth.

BTR was set up in 2009 to raise awareness and funding for scientific research into brain tumours and improve outcomes for patients.

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