MPs demand action to make brain tumour research a “critical priority”

1 min read

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours (APPGBT) has today published its landmark Inquiry Report demanding urgent action to help those affected by brain tumours.

Pathway to a Cure – Breaking Down the Barriers calls for wide-ranging changes to be made in how research into the disease is funded. The report is being welcomed by patients, their families, charities and scientists ahead of its launch this evening at a Westminster reception hosted jointly by Brain Tumour Research and the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission.

The report finds that the current funding system is unfit for purpose and claims patients and families continue to be let down despite the promise of millions of pounds of investment which has not materialised. It also highlights issues in the treatment of terminally ill children denied access to last resort clinical trials and a so-called “valley of death” in which potential new treatments discovered in the laboratory fail to reach patients because of unnecessary complexity in the way research is funded.

Key recommendations of the report include that the Government should recognise brain tumour research as a “critical priority” and ring-fence £110 million of current and new funding; the research funding system needs to be joined up from basic science through to clinical trials; and funding bodies should ring-fence specific funding for research into childhood brain tumours where survival rates for the most aggressive tumours have remained unchanged for decades.

Derek Thomas MP, chair of the APPGBT, said: “The sad fact is that brain tumour patients do not have the luxury of time. The Government must act now in order to recognise brain tumour research as a critical priority, appoint a champion, and ringfence sufficient funds to make a difference.”

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