Today’s UK Brain Cancer summit at the Cabinet Office

Thursday 22 February 2018

We will voice the hope and determination of everyone in our community when we join government ministers, fellow campaigners and researchers at a crucial meeting today in the battle against brain tumours

The event in London this afternoon was inspired by Baroness Tessa Jowell, who spoke movingly in the House of Lords last month about her glioblastoma diagnosis and her drive to improve life for others affected by the disease.

Baroness Jowell is due to open today's meeting in London alongside Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, before a series of discussions about accelerating progress towards a cure.

She will urge those around the table: 'let's get to work' on issues including:

- the way the NHS treats brain tumour patients;

- the need for greater access to more flexible or 'adaptive' clinical trials;

- the benefits of sharing data about brain tumour diagnoses and treatments;

- the impact of brain tumours on children.

We have worked in partnership with Baroness Jowell, policymakers and some of the world's leading brain tumour researchers to ensure today's discussion addresses these key areas.

Baroness Jowell is expected to tell the meeting that patients need a 'bigger voice' in their own care - and she will say that she has already agreed to share her own data for the benefit of others diagnosed with brain cancer.

Our Chief Executive, Sarah Lindsell, and our Chief Scientific Officer, David Jenkinson, will be among those around the table.

The meeting will be chaired by Health Minister Lord O'Shaughnessy, who oversees government life sciences policy, and Dr Ronald DePinho, director of the Eliminate Cancer Initiative - the organisation which Baroness Jowell described last month in her speech to the House of Lords as 'reason for hope'.

The event has the backing of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who met brain tumour campaigners yesterday to discuss the way forward.

Mr Blair, who has known Baroness Jowell for many years as a personal friend as well as a political colleague, said: “Tessa's extraordinary campaigning zeal remains undiminished.

“I applaud her ambitious efforts, alongside all these expert groups and talented individuals, who are striving to fight this terrible disease and give sufferers hope for the future.

“I will support this cause in any way I can."

Baroness Jowell said: “I am heartened by the level of support from within government for the efforts of the ECI, The Brain Tumour Charity and the research community globally to bring about real change for everyone affected by the disease."

Sarah Lindsell said: “We know that collaboration is key to progress in the global effort to defeat brain tumours.

“We look forward to working on behalf of our community with all of those around the table today, to accelerate progress towards the goals we share: improving survival and reducing the harm caused by the disease."