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Why we are supporting the Brain Tumour Research Petition for more funding into research

More research funding is essential for finding better treatments for brain tumours and ultimately helping people live longer and better. We outline why we are supporting the live petition on brain tumour research.

vials in a lab representing the Brain Tumour Research Petition

As I’m sure lots of us will remember, in 2018 the Government committed to ring-fencing £40m over five years specifically into the research of brain tumours. This was such welcome news and was a wonderful dedication to the incredible Dame Tessa Jowell who passed away from a glioblastoma in the same year.

Why hasn’t the money been spent?

We are now at the five year point and only a quarter of this money has been spent. Why is that? The official, governmental answer to this is that applications have not been good enough to spend the money. But after five years why is there not more conversation about why this is and how we could change this? And is there a different approach to spending this money?

The best approach should be for us all to be working together to develop more sophisticated solutions, rather than just leaving it sitting there languishing. Especially at a time of high inflation, where with each passing year, the spending power of that money diminishes.

The future of research into brain tumours becoming competitive surely lies in how we can fund more early stage researchers and ensuring that those researchers continue their careers in the field of brain tumours. If there are more researchers working in the field we would, hopefully, get to a point where we don’t need to ring-fence, we just have a constant stream of good quality research.

This is why we fund our Future Leaders programme. This programme looks to specifically support and encourage the future leaders of scientific research in the brain tumour field. It hopes to identify excellent early stage academic and clinical researchers and provide support so they can establish themselves as leading researchers in our field.

Is it all bad news?

There have definitely been positive improvements over the past few years in the amount of funding going towards research into brain tumours.

Between 2010 and 2020, there was a 348% increase in research into brain tumours, reaching £22.3m, and we are exceptionally proud that as an organisation to be the largest dedicated funder globally of research into brain tumours. We have committed £38m in research directly and attracted a further £87m indirectly since 2015.

There is no question though that this is not enough and that we need to see more money invested into this disease area.

In our latest strategy Living Longer and Better, we committed to directly invest £50m and attract investment of a further £150m to ultimately help us meet our goals of halving the harm and doubling survival.

What is the Brain Tumour Research Petition calling for?

Brain Tumour Research have been very clear on the issue of funding, and are collecting signatures to show the sheer strength of support from our community on research funding. We are supporting that petition and would encourage anyone who has yet to do so to add their name to it. You can do so by clicking here.

Ultimately, no one organisation or funding body is going to solve brain tumours, it will be a collective effort from government, charity, research institutions and industry. It is impossible to dispute though that we desperately need more funding for this cause and hope that the Government will look at this issue.