Information for journalists
These are our standard notes to editors, along with a list of spokespeople, downloadable statistics and facts on brain tumours.
If you require any further information please contact our communications team on 01252 237864 or 07990 828385 (out of hours), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Brain Tumour Charity
Registered Charity No. 1150054 (England & Wales) SC045081 (Scotland)
The Brain Tumour Charity is the UK’s largest dedicated brain tumour charity, committed to fighting brain tumours on all fronts.
They fund pioneering research to increase survival and improve treatment options and raise awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours to get earlier diagnosis and to help families cope with everything that the diagnosis of a brain tumour brings. They also provide support for everyone affected so that they can live as full a life as possible, with the best quality of life.
The Charity funds and promotes the UK-wide HeadSmart campaign, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people to make earlier diagnosis a reality. Earlier diagnosis will reduce long term disabilities and save lives. In just three years, HeadSmart has reduced average diagnosis time from 9.1 weeks to 6.5 weeks.
Members of the Association of Medical Research Charities, The Information Standard, The Helplines Partnership and the Fundraising Standards Board.
- Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40
- Over 12,000 people are diagnosed each year with a primary brain tumour – 33 people every day
- Over 5,300 people lose their lives to a brain tumour each year
- Thousands more are diagnosed with secondary brain tumours, which are not recorded
- Brain tumours are the largest cause of preventable or treatable blindness in children
- Brain tumours reduce life expectancy by on average 27 years – the highest of any cancer
- Just 12% of adults survive for five years after diagnosis
- Childhood brain tumour survivors are 10 times more likely to suffer long term disability than well children. This accounts for 20,000 additional disabled life years for all the children who are diagnosed each year.
Chief Scientific Officer
David has over 20 years’ experience in oncology research after gaining a degree in biochemistry from Brunel University. He undertook a PhD at University of London before joining Cancer Research UK as a postdoctoral researcher. David then led the biology at a company developing therapeutics to control the switching ‘on’ and ‘off’ of genes in cancer.
Up till now, David worked for Cancer Research Technology where he gained experience in technology assessment, protection, development and licensing. Whilst in this post, he introduced several innovative approaches to ensure the progression of discoveries towards patients, such as securing orphan designations, industry co-funding agreements and the establishment of industry-academia drug discovery alliances.
David has a passion for ensuring basic research is translated into the clinic for patient benefit and early diagnosis where tumours are spotted at a stage that is more easily treatable. He brings his collaborative approach to the brain tumour field and is determined to make a difference for those affected by these hard to treat tumours.
Gina Almond – Director of Fundraising
After a career spanning over 20 years’ in the global commercial world within the media and publishing environment, Gina joined The Brain Tumour Charity from Blind Veterans UK, where as Head of Income Generation she built a team from scratch to implement a new five-year growth strategy.
Introducing several new creative initiatives including DRTV and face-to-face fundraising, Gina was instrumental in growing the income by £2.8m in 2 years (from £25.3 to £28.1m) and ensured the first two quarters of 2020 were the charity’s most successful for fundraising in the last five years.
Previous to this role, Gina held a number of significant posts in the publishing sector, including Global Marketing Director for Taylor and Francis as part of their senior executive team.
Gina’s role as The Brain Tumour Charity’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing has a remit to lead and grow primarily digital-first fundraising and marketing teams in order to raise money and awareness. These teams span all areas of supporter engagement including trusts and foundations, legacies, corporate partnerships, philanthropy, special events and challenges.
Professor Richard Gilbertson
Chair of the Biomedical Scientific Advisory Board
Professor Gilbertson sits as the Li Ka-shing Chair of Oncology, Head of Dept. of Oncology and Director of the Cambridge Cancer Centre at Cambridge University. He is also the chair of our Biomedical Scientific Advisory Board.
Professor David Walker
Professor of Paediatric Oncology
David Walker is Professor of Paediatric Oncology and co-director of the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre at the University of Nottingham.
He is clinical lead for HeadSmart, the campaign to reduce childhood brain tumour diagnosis times, which was developed jointly by The Brain Tumour Charity, the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Since HeadSmart began, the time it takes on average to diagnose children’s brain tumours in the UK has fallen from more than 14 weeks to less than seven. HeadSmart aims is to bring that figure below four weeks.
Professor Walker is an expert in the clinical factors that affect brain tumour diagnostic processes as part of his main research strategy to “halve the harm” of brain tumours for children.
Professor Susan Short
Professor of Clinical Oncology and Neuro-Oncology
Professor Susan Short is a clinical oncologist and clinician scientist with a specialist interest in treating adults with poor prognosis brain tumours. She trained at King’s College London and then worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals and The Royal Marsden Hospital.
She undertook a PhD in radiation biology at The Gray Laboratory, University of London in 1999 and has worked in clinical and translational neuro-oncology since then, as Senior Lecturer at University College London between 2007 and 2012 and since April 2012 as Professor of Clinical Oncology and Neuro-Oncology at the University of Leeds.
She also runs the Translational Neuro-Oncology group at LICPS. This includes CRUK funded work focusing on the response of glioma cells to radiation and identifying new methods of radiosensitisation. She also supervises post-doctoral and PhD students studying other aspects of glioma biology funded through MRC, YCR and PPR projects, investigating glioma cell migration and the role of micro-RNAs in defining glioma phenotype. They have demonstrated the potential for sensitising resistant glioma cell populations to radiation and chemotherapy by targeting recombination repair and shown how commonly used drug-radiation regimes interact in causing DNA damage.
Professor Short has also developed and run clinical studies addressing novel treatments for glioma and meningioma and was Chair of the NCRI Brain Tumour Clinical Study Group in the UK between 2006 and 2011. They have recently shown that state of the art radiotherapy is a very effective treatment for meningioma in the base of skull and are currently investigating the benefit of using hydroxychloroquine as a radiation sensitiser for older patients with high-grade gliomas.
Lewis Thorne is a consultant neurosurgeon at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, part of University College London Hospitals NHS Trust.
His special interests include brain tumours, awake surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife®).
He appeared on the Today programme in July 2015 to speak about the findings of our report, Losing Myself: The Reality of Life with a Brain Tumour.
Mr Thorne can be contacted via our press team.
What we think
This document provides provides some information about end of life care for people with a terminal brain tumour diagnosis, The Brain Tumour Charity's views on what should be made available, and what we are doing to address the issues raised.
This document provides our position on proton beam therapy, a form of radiotherapy typically used to treat more complex tumours.
This document provides an overview of the ketogenic diet, how it relates to brain tumours, and our position on the issue.
Media contacts at The Brain Tumour Charity
Press office contact details (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm): 01252 237864
Out of hours media contact: 07990 828385
Carol Dyce, Senior PR & Media Officer
T: 01252 237828
Piers Townley, Senior PR & Media Officer
T: 01252 749991