Charities unite to fund pioneering research into brain tumour treatments

THREE CHARITIES have joined forces to fund a pioneering investigation in Yorkshire to find new treatments for brain tumours.

Yorkshire Cancer Research is partnering with Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire and Ellie’s Fund – Brain Tumour Trust for the research at Leeds University into tumour cells.

Experts at the university will analyse brain tumour cells from patient samples as part of efforts to develop more effective anti-cancer drugs.

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Researcher Lucy Stead, of the School of Medicine in Leeds, said: “It is believed that current therapies fail because of the complex mix of cell types within the tumour.

“More effective, targeted drugs are desperately needed to help more people survive. If we understand the cells involved in individual tumours, we can tailor treatments to the patient and treat them more successfully.

“The results of our study will also be made available on the clinical records of patients and may influence the kind of chemotherapy they receive.”

More men under the age of 45 and women under the age of 35 die from a brain tumour than any other cancer, while brain tumours are the most common malignancy and cause of death in children.

Only 14 per cent of brain tumour patients survive for five years or more after diagnosis but research in the field amounts to less than one per cent of total cancer research in the UK.

The head of research funding at Yorkshire Cancer Research, Kathryn Scott, said: “This study is cutting-edge, innovative research that could have a major impact on how brain tumour patients are treated in the future.”

Heather Othick, the founder of the Scarborough-based Ellie’s Fund – Brain Tumour Trust and whose daughter died aged 14 from the illness, claimed that the charity is “delighted” to work with other Yorkshire-based organisations for the research into brain tumours.