Brain tumour research funding e-petition

The UK Government has formally acknowledged that more needs to be done for brain tumour patients and their families.

Health Minister George Freeman MP announced a package of measures at a Westminster Hall debate on Monday 18th April which was prompted by an e-petition launched by the family of Stephen Realf, lost to a brain tumour at the age of 26, and backed by Brain Tumour Research.

The Government will:

  • Set up a “Task and Finish” working group at the Department of Health looking at areas highlighted by the Petitions Committee report.
  • Request the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) produce a national register within a year to examine how public funds are spent on research.
  • Seek to improve levels of earlier diagnosis and include brain cancer in the Genomics England programme.

The Westminster Hall debate followed the publication of a report by the Petitions Committee on funding for research into brain tumours. I

lobbyingwestminsterannaThe report quotes our founder, Wendy Fulcher, who participated in a patient forum organised by the Petitions Committee together with one of our patient supporters and advocates, Anna Swabey:

“When my husband died from a brain tumour I learnt how little was known about the cause of brain tumours and how little funding was invested in brain tumour research. 15 years later this is still the case and despite brain tumours being the biggest cause of cancer death in young people and causing the highest number of years of life lost, less than 1% of national cancer research funding goes into brain tumour research. This is unacceptable – the charities try desperately to redress this shameful imbalance but it needs a concerted national funding effort to give brain tumour patients a fair chance of better treatments. Scientists and clinicians are fighting for the chance to find a cure for this devastating disease but they need the support of government to receive a fair share of funding to research the causes and possible treatments for these patients.”

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