Enabling Research

2 min read
To deliver progress towards our vision of finding a cure for all types of brain tumours our research aims are built around three pillars which will see us:

  • Growing Capacity
  • Building infrastructure
  • Accelerating Treatments

Growing Capacity

Our Centres attract and retain talented researchers, increasing the amount of brain tumour research taking place in the UK.

  • Centres of Excellence

We are currently supporting four Centres of Excellence. We are investing in long-term research, building the ‘critical mass’ of expertise needed to accelerate the journey to find a cure. As the teams’ research progresses, they attract increased research investment from other sources, allowing game-changing collaborations to take shape.

Our long-term funding allows researchers to deliver on their innovative research which will lead to transformational impact, treatments and improving outcomes for people affected by brain tumours.

  • Ambition to fund seven Centres in the UK

Brain Tumour Research has an ambition to grow our network of Centres of Excellence to seven. We currently fund four Centres:

  • Imperial College
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Plymouth
  • The Institute of Cancer Research

Building Infrastructure

Researchers need access to research tools, platforms and resources to deliver their outstanding research. Working in partnership with other organisations, our funding is supporting the research infrastructure, connecting and improving coordination across the UK brain tumour research community, ensuring that researchers are able to maximise their potential and ambition to deliver world-leading research and innovation.

Tissue is a fundamental requirement to enable researchers to carry out their vital work - BRAIN UK at the University of Southampton is the world’s first national virtual brain tissue bank. Initiated by brainstrust, Brain Tumour Research funds this unique and hugely important resource for researchers working across the UK and internationally.

BRAIN UK has created and manages a game-changing database that catalogues more than 140,000 tumour tissue samples held across the network of NHS and Academic Pathology Centres in the UK. The facility acts as a matchmaker, linking suitable tumour samples to researchers investigating a range of neurological diseases, including brain tumours. This enormous collection of several hundred thousand tumour tissue samples forms an important resource for research to better understand how tumours arise and how they might be better treated.

  • PRIME in partnership with brainstrust

There is unprecedented demand from the clinical and research community for public input into trial and research proposals. This ensures the goals and methods reflect what people want when they are living with a brain tumour. Funding is now inaccessible without this patient and public perspective.

Brain Tumour Research is partnering with Member Charity brainstrust to fund its Patient Research Involvement Movement (PRIME) which is focused on ensuring clinical research projects are aligned with the needs of patients.

Patient and public involvement and engagement (PPI&E)  is key to attracting funding for research and by 2022 PRIME has already helped to attract more than £17m of investment by matching scientists and clinical researchers with brain tumour patients.

The vision of brainstrust is for everyone with a brain tumour to feel less afraid, less alone, and more in control and, through PRIME, it is bringing people with direct experience of life with a brain tumour into contact with the clinical research community where they can have direct input and help shape studies and secure funding for research and clinical trials.

For clinical and research communities PRIME streamlines co-production, co-participation and engagement-based activities. It brings together PP&IE managers, coordinators, patients, clinical researchers, under-represented groups and other stakeholders to support relationship building and inclusivity of communities and participants in research.

To find out more and get involved click here.

Accelerating treatments

We strive to improve the quality of brain tumour research in the UK and support innovative research to generate new treatments for brain tumours.

  • Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator, in partnership with TJBCM

Brain Tumour Research is proud to be funding the Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator (BTR-NTA) initiative, in partnership with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM), as a route to finding cures more quickly.

BTR-NTA is a brand-new programme to review and provide guidance on the translation and developments of novel drug treatments. It aims to bridge the gap between the promising research findings presented at conferences, published in journals, and hailed as the basis for possible future treatments and cures, and the number of these findings which progress into successful clinical trials.

Guided by a unique multi-disciplinary international group of academic, industry drug development and regulatory experts, applicant researchers will receive bespoke feedback on the development path for therapeutics for brain tumour diseases.

The programme provides infrastructure to ensure the most promising therapies reach patients as quickly as possible through a confidential review and go-no-go milestones. Applicants will have the opportunity to use the committee reports to support subsequent funding applications or discussions.

The aim of each review is to identify potential pitfalls in clinical trial design and give independent, transparent advice in order to help the applicant position the candidate compound along a realistic and well-informed pathway to clinical trial and eventual registration.

It is expected that the programme will see more agents successfully enter into human trials, more research focused on drug discovery encouraged and stimulated, improved relationships with industry and academia, and de-risking of trials.

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