Brain cancer: Fund vital research for new treatment and diagnostic methods

Last updated: 23/12/2013

Why this research is needed

Around 9,300 adults and children are diagnosed with tumours of the brain and central nervous system in the UK each year. There are several different types of brain tumour and many of them are difficult to treat successfully.

The impact of our work

Cancer Research UK funds all areas of brain cancer research – from understanding why they grow, to developing better diagnostic tests and new treatments.

By funding this whole range of research, we believe we will make the breakthroughs that will truly change the outlook for people with brain tumours in the future.

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Project closed - October 2013

Thank you to everyone who has donated and fundraised to help us reach our target of raising £70,000 for brain cancer research. We really appreciate your support.

Fundraising and donations to this project have now closed, but we are raising money for another area of brain tumour research that you can support:

Brain tumours: Support pioneering research to beat this disease

The science behind our brain cancer research

Alongside funding this research, we also aim to provide the best environment for scientists and doctors to carry out their vital work. This environment must enable researchers to collaborate and allow us to join up the different areas of research, so we can move our lab discoveries into the clinic as fast as possible. Our network of Cancer Research UK Centres play a key role here and our centres in Newcastle and University College London have brain cancer as one of their areas of focus.

At the University of Newcastle, Dr Simon Bailey is leading a clinical trial to see if giving children a drug called temozolomide in addition to radiotherapy may improve the treatment of a type of brain tumour called diffuse pontine glioma. This type of tumour is very difficult to treat and so new, more effective treatments, could have real benefits for children with the disease. Temozolomide is the "gold standard" treatment for some types of adult brain tumour, but this vital trial will now see if the drug can also help children with the disease.

At University College London, Dr Jeremy Rees is finding out if temozolomide is as effective as radiotherapy at treating one of the most common types of adult brain tumour – low grade gliomas.This trial will also see if one of the treatments has less side effects than the other and could lead to a new treatment option for patients with low grade gliomas.

In addition, Dr Rees is examining the DNA from the tumour samples for changes or faults and comparing this to how well people respond to treatment. These studies could mean that, in the future, doctors will be able to select the most appropriate treatment for an individual patient depending on the genetic make-up of their tumour, improving their quality of life and chance of survival.

The results of both of these trials could help shape brain cancer treatment and improve the outlook for people with the disease. 

What difference can you make? 

Cancer Research UK pioneered the development of the drug temozolomide, which is used in both of these trials and treats thousands of people all over the world. By contributing to our current brain cancer work you could help us make even more discoveries and breakthroughs like this, which could lead to a brighter future for people with the disease.

The cost of running just one clinical trial like Dr Rees's is around £70,000.

Amanda's story

Amanda donating cheque from Halloween fundraiserAmanda was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009, and came to MyProjects because she wanted to raise money to support research into this disease.

By September 2011, Amanda had raised an incredible £20,000 for brain cancer research, achieving our fundraising target for Dr Watts’ brain cancer trial. With the help of her family and friends, Amanda continues to fundraise for brain cancer research and supports our new brain cancer project: Finding new ways to beat the disease.

She shared her story with us, in her own words:

Open QuoteAfter I was diagnosed with brain cancer back in 2009, I had an operation to remove a tumour roughly the size of a golf ball in March of that year. The tumour was a grade 4, the most aggressive and fast growing type. Ever since then I felt that we could do more to help raise money and awareness of the disease.

Before my diagnosis in March 2009, neither myself or any of my family and friends knew anyone with the disease I sadly have. I have so many wonderful people around me wishing to donate and help with more fundraising so I decided to set up our fundraising team Amanda's Angels, as it gave us all a name to work together. I intend to be around for a long time yet and with my wish to help others benefit now being fulfilled maybe one day in the future we can all beat this unfair disease that destroys so many lives.

Kind Regards..... your friend Amanda x!Closing Quote