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Secretary of State questioned about brain tumour research funding

11 January 2019

The Petitions Committee will hear from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Rt Hon. Matt Hancock MP, about brain tumour research funding.



Purpose of the session

On Tuesday 15 January, the Petitions Committee will follow up on its report, 'Funding for research into brain tumours', published in March 2016, with an evidence session.

The Committee's inquiry and report was the result of a petition started by Maria Lester in August 2015, to mark the anniversary of the death of her brother, Stephen Realf. Stephen, an RAF officer, was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 19.  

The petition emphasised that brain tumours received only 1.5% (£7.7 million) of national cancer research funding in 2014. I

t called for funding for brain tumour research to be increased to £30 – £35 million per year, to help brain tumour research catch up with research into other cancers and diseases.  

In 2016, the Committee supported the petition's demand for increased funding for research, concluding that “patients with brain tumours are failed at every stage - from diagnosis and treatment to research funding.”

It called on the Government to take remedial action to correct decades of under-funding, improve awareness, medical training and diagnosis and ensure better use of drug treatments.

In response, the Government established a Task and Finish Working Group on Brain Tumour Research. In February 2018, the Government announced a total government and charitable sector funding package of £45 million over five years following the Working Group's report.

In May 2018, the Government announced it was increasing taking further steps and increasing its contribution by £20 million, taking the total funding package up to £65 million, in honour of the campaigning work of the late Baroness Tessa Jowell.    



Tuesday 15 January 2019.

  • Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
  • Mike Batley, Deputy Director, Research Programmes
  • Helen Campbell, Portfolio Manager for DHSC Research Network, Clinical Research Facilities, and Cancer Research, Department for Health and Social Care


Further information