New alliance could boost early cancer detection – but brain tumour patients need more treatment options

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The big news story for the cancer community today is a new transatlantic research alliance set up with the ambition to develop new strategies and technologies to detect cancer at its earliest stage.

Those involved in this initiative, including Cancer Research UK (CRUK) believe that “early detection is essential to help more people beat cancer – a patient’s chance of surviving their disease improves dramatically when cancer is found and treated earlier.”

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “real progress in early detection can’t be achieved by a single organisation. No more siloes, no more missed opportunities; let us tackle this problem together and beat cancer”

The Prime Minister added his support adding “Every two minutes, someone in the UK has their world turned upside down when they are diagnosed with cancer”

Early diagnosis is, of course, a wish of the brain tumour community. All too often we hear of patients who have had to wait many months, with many visits to the GP before establishing the cause of their symptoms.  However, we must not forget that earlier diagnosis may bring relief but there remains a lack of treatments. There is still no cure for many brain tumour patients

In the Report of the Task and Finish Working Group on Brain Tumour Research released February 2018  this was summed up perfectly by  brain tumour activist Peter Realf who said “While I endorse the need to improve earlier diagnosis, this alone without a cure will simply mean that patients face a longer walk to the grave.”

Brain Tumour Research Chief Executive, Sue Farrington Smith MBE said “We will continue to fight for greater funding for research into brain tumours and for the national investment in brain tumour research to be £35 million per annum bringing parity with other cancers.”

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