A thriving environment for research

There are few treatment options for a brain tumour and survival rates have barely improved over the last 40 years. Late diagnosis is common and access to clinical trials varies across the country. We want to deliver a thriving research environment to meet these and other challenges and create a world where brain tumours are defeated.

Research is not just the development of new treatments. Other examples include the development of new technologies to aid early and accurate diagnosis or the analysis of patient data to evaluate the delivery of healthcare.

We call on the Government and decision makers to grow and promote the field of brain tumour research. That's because high quality research will, one day, lead to a breakthrough. So , we're working in lots of different ways to build a thriving research community and increase investment in the field, and we'd love you to get involved as well.

“Landmark discoveries are important foundations, yet the underlying cause of why our cells sometimes start growing out of control is unknown. As a community we need to push the boundaries of human knowledge, build tools that allow us to investigate and test ideas. We also need to understand the daily impact of living with a brain tumour and remember the many lives lost to brain tumours each year."
Clare Normand, who lost her son Alec to a brain tumour.

What we are campaigning for


There are over 130 types of brain tumour - it is not one disease. Molecular testing enables a more accurate evaluation of a tumour type which can benefit the patient. For example, a biomarker may be used to predict the effectiveness of Temozolomide, a chemotherapy drug used to treat high grade brain tumours.

Despite the benefits of molecular testing, it isn't available everywhere. A survey of 27 neuro-oncology centres conducted in 2015 highlighted that molecular tests for brain tumours, such as ATRX, are not being routinely carried out in hospitals across England and Scotland, despite being a simple and inexpensive diagnostic stain.

We will be campaigning to increase access to biomarkers.

Brexit and the brain tumour community

We want to ensure that Brexit works for people affected by brain tumours. The UK's decision to leave the EU is likely to have an impact on scientific research in the UK and EU member states. The EU offers important benefits to rarer cancers like brain tumours in particular. Research into brain tumours benefits from a critical mass of expertise, knowledge and a wider pool of patients for clinical trials across the EU.

We are consulting with our community on what aspects of Brexit may affect them. If you would like to know more about this piece of work get in touch at policy@thebraintumourcharity.org

Breaking down barriers to brain tumour research

To improve survival and quality of life for people affected by a brain tumour there needs to be significant investment in the research infrastructure. By this we mean several things.

  • Investment in people: support for early career researchers to specialise in brain tumours, and for researchers already in the field to collaborate with colleagues specialising in other neurological conditions so as to improve our understanding of how the brain functions.
  • Investment in infrastructure: support for the routine collection of tumour tissue into biobanks and enabling researchers' easy access to those samples to improve our understanding of the disease.
  • Investment in resources: making it easier for NHS staff to set up research in their hospital so that every patient has the opportunity to be a research patient.

With these and other changes we will see the scope and impact of brain tumour research excel.

Here we have outlined some of the main barriers to brain tumour research that need to be broken down.

Support our campaign

We campaign to improve life today for all those affected by a brain tumour, but we're only able to do this alongside our incredible supporters taking action to help bring about real, lasting change. That's why we need people like you to join us.

Campaigning activities range from sharing our campaign messages on social media to meeting with your local MP, so whether you can give a little time or a lot, we'd love to have you on board.

Local campaigning

Support our campaigns locally to help improve the lives of people affected by a brain tumour.

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