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Announcing our award of £3.8 million for five global research initiatives

Thanks to your continued support and fundraising, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been able to award over £3.8 million to five new exciting research initiatives across the globe

Thanks to your continued support and fundraising, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been able to award over £3.8 million to five new exciting research initiatives across the globe

As part of our work towards our twin goals, doubling survival and halving the harm that brain tumours have on quality of life, it’s imperative that we fund the best scientific and clinical research available. We know that we will only achieve our vision, a world where brain tumours are defeated, by building strong networks and working collaboratively with global experts.

Quest for Cures awards

We’re thrilled to be supporting world-class researchers in The Netherlands, and Canada, as well as in the UK for our Quest for Cures – Collaborative Discovery Teams initiative.

The scheme has been established to build global collaboration between multi-national and multi-disciplinary teams in order to accelerate the time it takes to turn discoveries into treatments and cures.

Developing therapeutic options for clinical trials

Dr Gelareh Zadeh, University of Toronto, Canada

Meningiomas are one of the most common primary brain tumours, yet treatment options for those with clinically aggressive meningiomas (CAM) are severely limited. In fact, little research whatsoever has been carried out to understand the makeup of these tumours. 

With a team of experts based around the world, including in Cambridge and Liverpool in the UK, Dr Zadeh will study the genetic characteristics of these tumours. The researchers will use tumour samples from patients who suffered a recurrence despite radiation and surgery. They will then correlate their findings with patient data, including quality of life data, to identify patterns between the characteristics of the tumours and tumour progression.

This information could be used to develop vital new treatments for future clinical trials.

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Accelerating treatment development 

Professor Thomas Würdinger, VU University Medical Center, The Netherlands

Over 50% of brain cancer patients are diagnosed with a Glioblastoma. Working with Dr Colin Watts at The University of Cambridge, Professor Würdinger’s team aims to find new combinations of drugs that kill the different types of abnormal cells found in a GBM tumour. 

The team will create models to test new and existing drugs to see how they work alone and in combination. This research will build on the work of GLASS – a global network studying GBM progression – creating a follow up network that focuses on finding cures for GBM.

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Quality of Life awards

Following on from the launch of our Research Strategy, A Cure Can’t Wait, and the findings from several of our landmark surveys, we have awarded funding to three exciting initiatives as part of our second Quality of Life awards. These projects will address key quality of life issues affecting those living with a brain tumour.

Reducing the effects of fatigue 

Dr Alasdair Rooney, University of Edinburgh

Many studies show that fatigue is the most common problem following treatment for a brain tumour. Dr Rooney and his team will look at whether lifestyle changes can help combat the effects of fatigue. 

Patients taking part will be split into three groups. The first group will have an interview to boost their motivation and then be advised by a specialist personal trainer on diet, eating, resting, stress and exercise. The second group won’t have the interview but will receive the advice, while the third group won’t receive any extra measures.

Dr Rooney hopes to see whether lifestyle changes can reduce the effects of fatigue and improve the quality of life for those suffering from it.

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Improving life for medulloblastoma patients

Professor Colin Kennedy, University of Southampton

The clinical trial, SIOP-PNET5-MB is designed to improve treatments for children who’ve recently been diagnosed with ‘standard risk’ medulloblastoma. Professor Kennedy’s team will study the effects of these treatments on participants’ quality of life. 

Children and parents will answer questions before and after treatments via a web-based platform. Health professionals will then analyse this data and implement it into the clinical trial to make improvements. The study hopes to reduce hormonal and hearing defects, as well as learning difficulties, to improve quality of survival for children with ‘standard risk’ medulloblastoma.

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Developing a self-management programme

Professor Linda Sharp, University of Newcastle

Professor Sharp and her team will develop a supported self-management programme to help improve the quality of life for adult primary brain tumour survivors. 

The team will work with health professionals, survivors and carers to design a self-management programme specifically for brain tumour patients. By encouraging active participation from those living with brain tumours in their own rehabilitation, Professor Sharp hopes to minimise the adverse effects of their illness and promote their well-being.

The impact of all of these studies could have for those affected by a brain tumour, could be pivotal.

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What we’re funding

Learn more about the pioneering projects that we’re funding as we search for a cure.