Families who have lost children to brain tumours have welcomed the announcement of our fourth Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at The Institute of Cancer Research.
Based in Sutton, Surrey, the team at our new Centre, led by Professor Chris Jones, has ambitious plans to identify new treatments for high-grade glioma brain tumours – which include those previously known as brainstem glioma and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) – occurring in children and young adults.
Isabella Ortiz (pictured right) was just five when she died of a DIPG in October 2019. Her mum Assunta Trapanese, who donated samples of Isabella’s brain tissue to the ICR after her death, described the announcement of the £2.5 million funding agreement as “the news I’ve been waiting for”.
Assunta added: “I hope it will lead to new drugs, therapies, and treatments for this devastating disease. I’m very happy Chris Jones is leading this research on DIPGs because he is the world’s leading expert on this type of glioma.”
Karen Carter lost her seven-year-old son Charlie (pictured left) to a glioblastoma (GBM) in 2010. Charlie had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but sadly nothing could save him and he died, just eight months after he was diagnosed.
Karen said: “We spent hours and hours searching for a cure for our little boy with doors slamming in our faces everywhere we turned. It was exhausting and draining but we were desperately looking for a cure.
“A Centre like this has been desperately needed for far too long and, whilst it’s come too late to save Charlie, our hope is it will prevent other families from having to suffer the same pain our family lives with every day.”
Read more about our Centre of Excellence at the ICR and how it could benefit patients in the future here.