Public Release: 

£1.5 million for clinical research brings new hope in the fight against brain tumors

£1.5 million from Barts Charity has been awarded to brain tumor researchers at Queen Mary University of London to extend their successful lab-based research into clinical trials with patients

Queen Mary University of London

  • Barts Charity has awarded £1.5 million to brain tumour research
  • The grant will allow researchers to extend successful lab-based research into clinical trials with brain tumour patients
  • 16,000 people are diagnosed with a primary or secondary brain tumour each year
  • Case studies available

Brain tumours kill more people under the age of 40 than any other cancer and less than 20% of those diagnosed survive beyond five years, compared to 50% of all other cancers. New funding from Barts Charity will help researchers get closer to a cure.

£1.5 million has been awarded to brain tumour expert Silvia Marino, Professor of Neuropathology at Queen Mary University of London and Edward McKintosh, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust.

Professor Marino has pioneered research in her field and has gained international recognition. She's also the first female President of the British Neuro-Oncology Society.

This grant will help Professor Marino and her team of researchers to build upon the success in basic science of the Brain Tumour Research Centre which is funded by the charity Brain Tumour Research and to work with clinicians to develop a clinical platform to facilitate taking their discoveries to patients.

Working with Rachel Lewis, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Barts Health NHS Trust, this grant will be used to create infrastructure within the Trust's hospitals to run clinical trials with brain tumour patients.

This will vastly enhance the research into brain tumours that can take place and brings the translation of laboratory findings to patient treatments ever closer. It will also mean a significant increase in the amount of experimental treatments available to patients.

Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to brain tumours, meaning that funding by the charities has played an important role. Previous seed funding from Barts Charity and substantial support by Brain Tumour Research has allowed research projects to get up and running and attract larger funders.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms will today tour the research facilities with Professor Marino. He was joined by one of his constituents Lydia Fenny, who lost her friend Phil to a brain tumour (case study available).

Professor Silvia Marino from Queen Mary University of London says: "I am thrilled to have been awarded this funding from Barts Charity, which complements the support we are receiving from Brain Tumour Research and other sources. It will allow us to move faster from the bench to the bedside and offer more experimental treatments to brain tumour patients."

Fiona Miller Smith, Chief Executive of Barts Charity says: "Professor Marino is a world-leading researcher in this important and underfunded area. By making this significant award, the Charity is supporting the extension of her laboratory work to accelerate the translation of beneficial scientific discoveries into patient care."

Sue Farrington Smith Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research says: "We are proud to have provided the seed funding for this vital research. This grant by The Barts Charity represents an important step towards increasing the national investment for research into brain tumours to £30 - £35 million a year and brings hope to the thousands of patients diagnosed with a brain tumour each year, as well as their families."

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Barts Charity

  • Barts Charity is a healthcare innovation funder, which funds extraordinary healthcare for 2.5m people in east London, and beyond.
  • Working alongside the Barts Health NHS Trust's group of hospitals and Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (part of Queen Mary University London) we fund world-leading research, state-of-the-art equipment and innovative healthcare projects which go above and beyond what the NHS can provide.
  • In the year to March 2018, the Charity's funding awards totalled £30million.
  • Visit bartscharity.org.uk or contact comms@bartscharity.org.uk or 020 7618 1720 for more information.

Queen Mary University of London

  • Queen Mary University of London is a world-leading research-intensive university with over 25,000 students representing more than 160 nationalities.
  • A member of the prestigious Russell Group, we work across the humanities and social sciences, medicine and dentistry, and science and engineering, with inspirational teaching directly informed by our research.
  • In the most recent exercise that rated research in the UK, we were ranked 5th in the country for the proportion of research outputs that were world-leading or internationally excellent. We offer more than 240 degree programmes and our reputation for excellent teaching was rewarded with a silver in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) awards.
  • Queen Mary's history dates back to 1785, with the foundation of the London Hospital Medical College. Our history also encompasses the establishment of the People's Palace in 1887, which brought accessible education, culture and recreation to the East End of London. We also have roots in Westfield College, one of the first colleges to provide higher education to women.

Barts Health NHS Trust

With a turnover of £1.5 billion and a workforce of around 17,000, Barts Health is a leading healthcare provider in Britain and one of the largest NHS trusts in the country. The Trust's five hospitals - St Bartholomew's Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End Hospital - deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of east London and beyond.

Brain Tumour Research

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours, and we are a leading voice calling for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.

We are building a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.

We want research funding parity with breast cancer and leukaemia. We are calling for a £30-35 million investment every year for research into brain tumours in order to fund the ground-breaking research needed to accelerate the translation from laboratory discoveries into clinical trials and fast-track new therapies for this devastating disease.

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