In response to the Government’s landmark reviewinto brain tumour research in the UK, the NationalInstitute for Health Research (NIHR) has launchednew funding opportunities for research into braintumours.
The report by the Department of Health and SocialCare (DHSC) Task and Finish Working Group foundthat one of the barriers to finding breakthroughtreatments for the disease is the small number of highquality research applications for specialist funding. In a bid to deliver research that can contribute to astep change in survival rates an estimated £20 millionin funding will be invested through the NIHR overthe next five years – with the aim of doubling thisonce new high-quality research proposals becomeavailable.
Research teams are encouraged to put forwardcollaborative applications that demonstrate how theybuild on recent initiatives and investment in the areamade by the NIHR, the MRC and other researchfunders. Research may involve any aspect of the diagnosis, treatment, support or care of patients withbrain tumours, including access to or the delivery ofservices. Applications must be in the remit of one ormore of the participating NIHR programmes.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for PublicHealth and Primary Care Steve Brine said:
“Cancer survival rates are at record highs however,as Baroness Jowell and other campaigners havebravely highlighted, the prognosis for brain cancerremains grave.
“That’s why we have invested £20 million in fundingthrough the National Institute for Health Research(NIHR) over the next 5 years to galvanise innovativeresearch into the diagnosis and treatment of braincancer. I urge researchers to apply and help generatethe breakthroughs that could give hope to the thousands of people diagnosed with brain cancer everyyear.”
Michael Jenkinson, Chair of the NCRI brain tumourClinical Studies Group, NIHR Brain CancerSubspecialty Lead and Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery said:
“The NIHR have previously funded brain tumourtrials as part of other calls and there is now an activenetwork of NHS trusts involved in brain tumour clinical trials. The brain tumour community will seize thisinitiative to develop new clinical trials that will lead totreatments for the benefit of patients and the NCRIbrain tumour CSG is excited to support this newfunding opportunity.”
Professor Colin Watts, Professor of Neurosurgery andChair of the Birmingham Brain Cancer Programme,University of Birmingham said:
“This initiative by the NIHR is based on a wide rangeof expert opinion and will be genuinely transformative by supporting research that will help us get theright treatment to the right patient at the right time.It will complement on-going initiatives to promoteawareness and support patients with brain cancerand offer real hope of meaningful change for patientsand their families.
David Kingston, patient and activist for Brain Tumour Research said:
“My hope for future patients diagnosed with a braintumour is that advances in scientific research will deliver the new treatment options and improved patient outcomes so desperately needed for thisuniquely complex disease area.
Steve White, who is living with a GBM brain tumourand Brain Tumour Charity supporter said:
"When you get a diagnosis of Glioblastoma like I didaged 43, you very quickly realise that the treatmentoptions currently available in the UK are extremelylimited and outdated. It’s vitally important that morehigh quality research is conducted into brain tumourtreatments, I know that The Brain Tumour Charityhas committed to halving the harm and doublingsurvival, but they cannot do it alone.
. “With this extra investment I hope that morecollaborative advances will be discovered for thisdevastating disease, so that all patients can have bestpossible chance of not only living but living well."