Date: 16 April 2018
In response to the Government’s landmark review into brain tumour research in the UK, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has launched new funding opportunities for research into brain tumours.
The report by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Task and Finish Working Group found that one of the barriers to finding breakthrough treatments for the disease is the small number of high quality research applications for specialist funding.
In a bid to deliver research that can contribute to a step change in survival rates an estimated £20 million in funding will be invested through the NIHR over the next five years – with the aim of doubling this once new high-quality research proposals become available.
Research teams are encouraged to put forward collaborative applications that demonstrate how they build on recent initiatives and investment in the area made by the NIHR, the MRC and other research funders.
Research may involve any aspect of the diagnosis, treatment, support or care of patients with brain tumours, including access to or the delivery of services. Applications must be in the remit of one or more of the participating NIHR programmes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care Steve Brine said:
“Cancer survival rates are at record highs however, as Baroness Jowell and other campaigners have bravely highlighted, the prognosis for brain cancer remains grave.
“That’s why we have invested £20 million in funding through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) over the next 5 years to galvanise innovative research into the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer. I urge researchers to apply and help generate the breakthroughs that could give hope to the thousands of people diagnosed with brain cancer every year.”
Michael Jenkinson, Chair of the NCRI brain tumour Clinical Studies Group, NIHR Brain Cancer Subspecialty Lead and Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery said:
“The NIHR have previously funded brain tumour trials as part of other calls and there is now an active network of NHS trusts involved in brain tumour clinical trials. The brain tumour community will seize this initiative to develop new clinical trials that will lead to treatments for the benefit of patients and the NCRI brain tumour CSG is excited to support this new funding opportunity.”
Professor Colin Watts, Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of the Birmingham Brain Cancer Programme, University of Birmingham said:
“This initiative by the NIHR is based on a wide range of expert opinion and will be genuinely transformative by supporting research that will help us get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. It will complement on-going initiatives to promote awareness and support patients with brain cancer and offer real hope of meaningful change for patients and their families. It will allow clinicians and scientists to work together with patients to take advantage of the fantastic resource that is our NHS to build a future where this devastating cancer is a thing of the past.
David Kingston, patient and activist for Brain Tumour Research said:
“My hope for future patients diagnosed with a brain tumour is that advances in scientific research will deliver the new treatment options and improved patient outcomes so desperately needed for this uniquely complex disease area. Progress will only be delivered by scientific research. As a brain tumour patient, it is my duty to signpost the path to a better world for those who will unfortunately follow in my footsteps and this funding announcement is a significant and welcome milestone on that journey.
Steve White, who is living with a GBM brain tumour and Brain Tumour Charity supporter said:
"When you get a diagnosis of Glioblastoma like I did aged 43, you very quickly realise that the treatment options currently available in the UK are extremely limited and outdated. It’s vitally important that more high quality research is conducted into brain tumour treatments, I know that The Brain Tumour Charity has committed to halving the harm and doubling survival, but they cannot do it alone.
“With this extra investment I hope that more collaborative advances will be discovered for this devastating disease, so that all patients can have best possible chance of not only living but living well."
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