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UK charities join forces to take the fight against brain cancer international

We are delighted to announce that we have formed a unique partnership with The Brain Tumour Charity to fund two outstanding scientists’ work on brain cancer. Both charities have committed an equal share of nearly £340,000 to fund cancer researchers in Ireland and Australia.

A total of £119,000 has been awarded to Dr Lee Wong at Monash University in Australia to search for weaknesses in brain tumours so that new treatments can be developed. Dr Wong and her team have worked out that a tiny alteration to chromosome structure can be used to identify tumour cells from normal cells and now want to investigate exactly how these changes drive tumour growth in glioma – a type of brain tumour.

A further £218,000 has been awarded to Professor Adrian Bracken at Trinity College Dublin to study a rare but highly aggressive childhood brain cancer, DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). Professor Bracken is interested in why some patients are resistant to a specific type of treatment and is studying the molecular features of these tumours to work out how to overcome resistance.

Research into rare cancers is far behind in comparison to other types of cancer, meaning that outcomes for patients with rare cancers are often much worse.

Jennifer Stewart from East Lothian, Scotland, whose eight year old son Luke was diagnosed with DIPG in January last year, welcomed the announcement of funding from Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity into DIPG research:

“Research and alternative options are essential. There has to be a much-needed cure for DIPG to stop our precious children being stolen from us.

“There has been no progress towards a cure for DIPG for more than 50 years. This has to change. No child should suffer like those who are diagnosed with DIPG.”

Dr Helen Rippon, Chief Executive of Worldwide Cancer Research, said: “Worldwide Cancer Research funds research into any cancer, anywhere in the world. The fantastic partnership we have formed with The Brain Tumour Charity means we have been able to support two international research projects that are vital to advance treatments for brain cancer.

“This is the first time both charities have joined forces to help fund cancer research and the combined support means that research projects are able to be completed that might otherwise have been missed.

“I would like to give sincere thanks to The Brain Tumour Charity and to our generous supporters – without this dedication and support, the pioneering projects we fund simply would not happen.”

Sarah Lindsell, Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Worldwide Cancer Research to fund two projects with real promise for improving brain tumour treatments.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other type of cancer and reduce life expectancy by 20 years on average - more than any other cancer.

“We are absolutely committed to changing that, through our strategy to double survival and halve the harm caused by brain tumours. Collaboration is key to reaching those goals.”