Starting new cures this Brain Tumour Awareness Month

1st March 2020

March marks Brain Tumour Awareness Month – a whole month dedicated to raising awareness of brain tumours. We’re marking the occasion in two ways: by introducing you to our incredible supporter Suzanne, and by unveiling a brand new research project we’re backing.

Defying all odds

Also from Aberdeen, Suzanne is a mother of two with her husband Owen and runs her own business from her spare room. She is also currently living with stage four glioblastoma.

Just 5% of people will survive five years or more after a glioblastoma diagnosis – the most aggressive type of brain cancer. In 2014, Suzanne’s consultant told her she’d only have a year to live. But amazingly, six years on, she said: “it was a really hard time – out of nowhere, I suddenly found myself having vacant moments, where I couldn’t hear, speak or even breathe. When the doctors told me I had a tumour the size of a golf ball in my brain and that I’d only have a year to live, I had my two children (aged four and seven at the time) and husband to think about.

“Now six years on, I’m so thankful for research and for the treatments, surgery advances and drugs that were and are available to me. I didn’t think I’d get to see my 40th birthday, let alone see my sister get married and have children of her own.

“When I heard that the Scottish charity, Worldwide Cancer Research, was itself dedicating almost £200,000 into my cancer type, I was completely overjoyed. Any research that can help us get closer to finding cures, clinical trials and everything in-between is incredible. And the fact it’s a charity close to home starting the research across the world makes it even more incredible.

“I want to be a Grandma and to be able to live my life like I should be able to. And thanks to charities like Worldwide Cancer Research, I might be able to.”

Meet Dr Domenico Maiorano

Dr Domenico Maiorano, based in Montpellier, France and his team have been awarded £191,704 to better understand how a gene in our DNA allows brain cancer cells (specifically glioblastoma) to survive and grow.

Brain tumours kill over 5,000 people each year in the UK and over 400 in Scotland alone. Dr Maiorano hopes that the research will help discover a new way to stop the growth of brain tumours.

Dr Domenico Maiorano, said: “Our research focuses on glioblastoma, a very aggressive brain cancer where life expectancy is very short. Brain tumours have an astonishing ability to overcome treatment, but we've identified a gene which appears to be responsible for its survival and we're now trying to understand how to exploit this therapeutically.

“The research that Worldwide Cancer Research funds is so important. This type of research is at the heart of new treatments for cancer and we simply cannot cure it if we first do not understand its biology.”

It’s because of our generous supporters that we’re able to start new cancer cures like this around the world. Will you become a Curestarter this Brain Tumour Awareness Month?

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