Defeating Brain Tumours: Our Strategy 2015-2020

Defeating Brain Tumours: Our Strategy 2015 – 2020 defines our priorities over the next five years as we aim to create a world where brain tumours are defeated.

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 and, whilst survival has doubled across all cancers, the ten year survival rates for brain tumours has improved little for adults in over 40 years at just 13% (one of the poorest of all cancers). Brain tumours also reduce life expectancy by an average of 20 years, the highest of any cancer. Despite these facts, less than 2% of the £500million invested in cancer research in the UK every year is spent on brain tumours. This must change. As the largest brain tumour charity globally, we are now uniquely positioned to catalyse such change. Defeating Brain Tumours is our five year strategy to drive a step change in improving the future for those affected by a brain tumour.

Who developed the strategy?

Our strategy has been formed in collaboration with a wide range of people, for whose time and energy we are truly grateful: those affected by a brain tumour, the global research community, healthcare professionals, the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, supporters and other charities, in the UK and overseas. The feedback from this consultation, taken together with the stark facts, is that we must address two key issues: the shocking survival rates and appalling impact of brain tumours on day-to-day quality of life.

The importance of our strategy

To improve survival rates, we must continue funding more high quality research and translate the results efficiently into new treatments. To transform quality of life, we must better understand the daily impact that brain tumours have, as well as the trauma of diagnosis, and then reduce the harm caused not only to the lives of those living with this disease, but on their carers, families and friends. In addition to these two key issues, the feedback was that improvement in diagnosis, the NHS experience and support services were needed and would also significantly contribute to better survival and quality of life.

What is the strategy?

Our strategy therefore has two over-riding goals, to:

  • Double survival within 10 years in the UK. Our goal is to halve the average years of life lost to a brain tumour from 20.1 to 10 years by 2025.
  • Halve the harm that brain tumours have on quality of life in the UK. Our goal is to halve the harm caused by brain tumours by 2020, from a baseline measure which we will agree with clinicians and patient groups by the end of 2015.

To achieve these goals we will focus on six key priorities over the next five years:

  • A Cure Can't Wait: Our Research Strategy to invest in forward-thinking, outcomes-orientated and patient-focused research.
  • Every patient is a research patient: making sure every patient is able to contribute to research and clinical trials.
  • Early and accurate diagnosis: working to reduce diagnosis times and improve accuracy of diagnosis.
  • Equal access to the best treatment and care: ensuring every person with a brain tumour has the same access to high quality treatment and care.
  • Improving life today: providing information and support to navigate the system and improve quality of life.
  • United in our battle to defeat brain tumours: leading and facilitating a community that works collaboratively to make change happen.

How can you help defeat brain tumours?

It is only through uniting with others that we can succeed in taking this vital step towards achieving our vision of a world where brain tumours are defeated. Please join us and be part of this success – give us feedback on our strategy, share it with others and get involved.