New report analysing access to innovate cancer drugs

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The Institute of Cancer Research launched a new report, From Patent to Patient, this week which examines how many new cancer drugs were developed between 2000 - 2016.

Across all cancers, the number of drugs developed and then approved for use has steadily increased. For example, blood cancers (i.e. leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma etc.) have seen 64 new drugs approved since 2000. For breast cancer, there have been 15 new medicines authorised.

Sadly, brain tumour patients are not benefiting from this exciting progress. Despite being in the top 10 most common cancers in the UK (and top three for child cancers), in the period 2000 – 2016, there were zero new drugs developed and approved for use on brain tumours. (The brain tumour drug temozolomide received first authorisation in 1999).

One of the main reasons progress is continuing to fall behind breast cancer and blood cancers is the historic underfunding of research into brain tumours. Both breast cancer and blood cancer receive more than three times the research funding that brain tumours receive.

Brain Tumour Research will continue to lobby the Government for more research money, fund scientists at our Research Centres of Excellence who are studying how to develop new brain tumour drugs and work with stakeholders across the pharmaceutical sector to re-purpose existing drugs for brain tumour patients.

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