Yesterday, in the debate on brain tumour research funding, Kit intervened to point out that we will not see the vital progress we need unless prospective researchers in the field can see secure long term funding “before deciding whether to specialise.”
Kit also said that “the paucity of research spending in this area may mean that we do not get the amount and quality of research that is required.”
The debate yesterday came about as a result of a campaign by Brain Tumour Research highlighting historic underfunding of research into a disease that 16,000 people each year are diagnosed with and is rising in incidence. It was 23% higher for men and 25% higher for women in 2012 than in 1970.
It is also the cancer that is most likely to claim young lives. 71% of brain tumour deaths occur in those under 75 compared to 47% for all other cancers.
In 2014, brain tumours received 1.5% (£7.7 million) of the £498 million national spend on research into cancer despite more children and adults under 40 dying of a brain tumour than any other cancer.
Underfunding has meant that whilst advances in medical science have increased survival rates dramatically over the last 40 years, brain cancer has not been among the beneficiaries. Between 1970 and 2010 brain tumour survival rates increased by 7.5%. As a whole, cancer survival rates doubled in the same period.