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Welsh cancer charity pledges £1 million to brain tumour research

A WELSH cancer charity is bringing hope to people living with brain tumours, their families and loved ones today with the launch of a £1 million research programme.

Cancer Research Wales is setting up the Brain Tumour Research Initiative to fund pioneering research into brain tumours in Wales.

It will establish Wales as a world-leader in brain tumour research and provide scientists with a greater understanding of the disease.

The Brain Tumour Research Initiative will also develop new life saving and life-prolonging treatments and provide better support for people who have brain tumours.

Survival rates barely improved over the last 30 years

Dr Lee Campbell, Head of Research at Cancer Research Wales – the only charity wholly dedicated to funding cancer research in Wales for Wales, said:

“There has been a reported 39% increase in the incidence of primary brain tumours in the UK since the 1990’s with over 500 of these occurring within Wales every year.

“Unlike for many other cancer types, survival rates for brain tumour patients have barely improved over the last 30 years, with few new treatments introduced during this time and long-term survival rates for the most aggressive forms of brain tumour rarely exceed 10%”, he added.

Dr Lee Campbell concluded:

“While childhood primary brain tumours have better outcomes, the nature of the current treatments mean these children often struggle to lead fully independent lives as adults. New and kinder treatment strategies are needed that not only further improve survival rates, but importantly reduce long-term side effects and cognitive impairment”.

“The Brain Tumour Research Initiative will represent a first for Wales and will establish Wales as a world-leader for a disease that is notoriously difficult to treat. “

Gaining a better understanding of the disease

 The programme which aims to invest up to £1 million every year for the study of brain tumours, will bring together scientists, clinicians, and neurosurgeons from across Wales, to work collaboratively to gain a better understanding of the disease.

It is hoped this will lead to the development of new and kinder therapies that not only increase survival rates but also provide better support and improve the quality of life for brain tumour patients everywhere.