The Brain Tumour Charity has unveiled its ambitious five-year strategy, pledging to work ‘relentlessly’ towards a cure for the disease.
Defeating Brain Tumours sets out priorities including earlier and more accurate diagnosis of brain tumours and greater access to clinical trials for brain tumour patients.
It also calls for increased collaboration between charities fighting brain tumours to accelerate progress towards a cure.
Brain Tumours kill more children and adults under 40 in the UK than any other type of cancer.
Whilst survival rates have doubled across all cancer types, those for brain tumours in adults have improved little in over 40 years. Six out of ten people diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour will not survive for more than a year.
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “Our strategy is necessarily and unashamedly ambitious but it is not only decades overdue, it is an essential step towards our vision of a world where brain tumours are defeated.”
On average, brain tumours reduce life expectancy by 20 years – more than any other cancer.
The Brain Tumour Charity’s strategy aims to reduce that to ten years by 2025.
It also pledges to halve the harm caused by brain tumours by 2020, using a measure that will be agreed with patients and doctors by the end of 2015.
Among those endorsing the strategy is Professor Richard Gilbertson, Li Ka Shing chair of oncology and chair of the Cambridge University Cancer Centre.
Professor Gilbertson said: “We have made real progress in understanding how certain types of brain tumour form – but we need to go further, faster.
“Too many lives are being lost. We must do whatever we can, together, to speed up the search for a cure.”
And brain tumour patient Tasha Floyd, who is undergoing treatment for a recurrence of her disease, said: “The charity is offering something precious to everyone affected by a brain tumour: hope.”
The full strategy document is available at www.thebraintumourcharity.org