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Our research in numbers

In 2015, we launched our research strategy, A Cure Can’t Wait, to help drive the change needed to move towards our vision of a world without brain tumours. Now that we’re in the fifth year of our strategy, we’re looking back at our progress over this period.

Every year, we ask all the researchers we’ve funded within the last five years to report on the outcomes of their grants. Using their responses, we’ve put together some key facts and statistics that show just how far our funding has gone, and why it’s important.

Our research funding

We’re proud to have committed £38 million to world-class research in the last five years, resulting in a further £89 million of leveraged funds.

Leveraged funds are funds that our researchers have been able to secure from other sources as a result of our funding, allowing them to conduct new research in a similar area.

Why’s it important?

Brain tumours are a complex group of diseases, but every discovery brings us closer to defeating them – and when our research investment encourages others to fund research into brain tumours, we’re helping to bring more discoveries to light.

Progress is only possible if we continue to fund the best research across the globe. We choose what to fund based on our research strategy, with the most promising projects selected using rigorous peer review.

Data collections

In the last five years, our research funding has paid for 10 new data collections. These are large repositories of information about different brain tumours, which are gathered centrally for thorough analysis.

These data can be utilised for different research projects and shared with the wider research community.

Why’s it important?

Large amounts of data about brain tumours can help researchers to:

  • distinguish between different tumour types
  • look for trends
  • gain greater understanding of tumours and their behaviour
  • develop better and more targeted treatments.

Biological samples

In the last five years, our research investment has resulted in the creation of six different protocols or techniques for biological sample collection and analysis.

Why’s it important?

Biological samples just means samples of brain tumour tissue collected during surgery. These samples can be analysed in a lab to help researchers understand more about different types of tumour.

Our funding has helped researchers develop new ways of collecting biological samples, as well as enabling them to analyse the samples once they’ve been collected.

They also enable researchers to find biomarkers – genetic changes in tumours that reveal how fast the tumour is likely to grow and/or how likely it is to respond to different treatments.

Pre-clinical models

In the last five years, our research funding has resulted in 23 pre-clinical models (including cell lines).

Why’s it important?

One of the biggest issues for researchers is the lack of accurate representation of different types of tumour in the lab.

A cell line is a cluster of cells grown from one single cell. Our researchers reported that they had established nine new cell cultures. This is important as it allows researchers to share these cells with other scientists and conduct tests to further understand the mechanisms behind tumour growth.

They also told us that they’d created 14 other, more complex pre-clinical models. Pre-clinical models are critical to the success of clinical trials, as they help researchers understand how the tumour behaves and how it reacts to treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Research collaborations

In the last five years, we’ve funded 63 new research collaborations among 56 different organisations and institutions.

Why’s it important?

The field of research into brain tumours is relatively small. By funding collaborations within the sector – as well as outside it – we are helping to grow the workforce, increase communication between researchers and ensure scientists can learn from each other and don’t duplicate work. It also brings experts with different skillsets together.

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