Every day, 33 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour. It’s a devastating disease that costs too many lives, striking indiscriminately across all age groups. Yet survival rates have barely improved in 40 years. Tens of thousands of people live with a brain tumour, often experiencing acute isolation and anxiety.

Since the launch of our 2015 research strategy, A Cure Can’t Wait, we’ve invested £38m in forward-thinking, outcomes-orientated and patient-focused research. We won’t stop until we find a cure

We also provide vital support for those affected, including parents, carers and young adults, so that no-one has to feel alone following a diagnosis.

We have two strategic goals: to double brain tumour survival and halve the harm caused by the disease.

With Syncona’s support, we’re moving further and faster

Syncona’s funding has helped to drive some of our key projects including:

  • The creation of our ground-breaking databank, BRIAN (the Brain tumouR Information and Analysis Network). BRIAN will enable everyone affected by a brain tumour to share information about their diagnosis and treatment, pooling global knowledge to improve understanding of brain tumours and accelerate research
  • The establishment of the Tessa Jowell BRAIN-MATRIX, our pioneering clinical trial which aims to increase dramatically the number of patients diagnosed with glioma (the most common type of adult brain tumour) who are offered access to innovative treatments following surgery
  • Our specialist support and information services for young adults diagnosed with a brain tumour. We’ve developed video resources, blogs and a Facebook support group for young adults aged 16-30 (see Laura’s story)
  • HeadSmart, our campaign to raise awareness of brain tumour symptoms in children and young people. Since its launch, the average paediatric brain tumour diagnosis time in the UK has fallen by more than half to 6.5 weeks: we want to bring that down even further to four weeks.

“Without the Brain Tumour Charity, I would be a shell of the person I am today.”

Laura Nuttall, 19, was just weeks into a university degree course in October 2018 when she began to experience headaches and nausea. A scan revealed the devastating news that she had glioblastoma – a highly aggressive and incurable brain tumour.

Laura said: “It’s hard to keep a positive attitude when you feel isolated and like you don’t fit in with society any more. I reluctantly attended a meet-up organised by The Brain Tumour Charity for young adults affected by a brain tumour that my parents encouraged me to go to. Suddenly I was in a crowd that knew the effects of chemo, what a tonic-clonic seizure was and which bio-oil was best to use on craniotomy scars.  I began to open up and share my experiences and feelings with people who completely understood what I had gone through, giving me not just friends but a support base too. Both my family and I will never forget The Brain Tumour Charity’s help and how they kept us afloat while we were drowning in our new circumstance. Without the Brain Tumour Charity, I would be a shell of the person I am today. Without the Brain Tumour Charity, my family wouldn’t feel comforted by the support provided.

 And, speaking on behalf of all my friends who have also used the services of the Brain Tumour Charity, our lives wouldn’t be the same as they are today.”

  • Over 88,000 children and adults are estimated to be living with a brain tumour in the UK
  • 14 people in the UK die from a brain tumour every day
  • High-grade brain tumours have the worst 5 year survival rates of all cancers
  • 60% of people diagnosed with a high-grade brain tumour will die within one year and just 19% of people will survive for five years or more
  • Brain tumours kill more children than any other form of cancer in the UK


Next Foundation partner

The Brain Tumour Charity