UK cancer charities join forces to help fund brain cancer research at Monash

Associate Professor Lee Wong

UK charities Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity have formed a unique partnership and committed £119,000 to fund research on brain cancer at Monash University. The fund will support Associate Professor Lee Wong at theMonash Biomedicine Discovery Instituteto search for weaknesses in brain tumours that could help develop new treatments.

DNA – the vital life molecule that contains the genetic code – exists in the nucleus of cells in tightly wound structures called chromosomes. The way the DNA is wound into chromosomes is precise and mistakes in the process are frequently associated with the onset of cancer. This is particularly true for gliomas, or brain tumours.

Associate Professor Wong and her team at Monash University in Australia have worked out that a tiny alteration to chromosome structure can be used to identify tumour cells from normal cells. Using funding from Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity, Associate Professor Wong now wants to investigate exactly how these changes drive tumour growth in conditions such as glioma. This work will ultimately identify weaknesses in these cancers that might be able to be hit with targeted treatments.

Associate Professor Wong said: “I am very pleased to receive this funding. Brain cancer is a devastating disease. My research aims to assist drug development and treatment options by providing knowledge about the fundamental processes which underlie brain tumours.”

Dr Helen Rippon, Chief Executive of Worldwide Cancer Research, said: “Worldwide Cancer Research funds research into any cancer, anywhere in the world. The fantastic partnership we have formed with The Brain Tumour Charity means we have been able to support research that is vital to advance treatments for brain cancer.

“This is the first time both charities have joined forces to help fund cancer research and the combined support means that research projects are able to be completed that might otherwise have been missed.

“I would like to give sincere thanks to The Brain Tumour Charity and to our generous supporters – without this dedication and support, the pioneering projects we fund simply would not happen.”

Sarah Lindsell, Chief Executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Worldwide Cancer Research to fund projects with real promise for improving brain tumour treatments.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under 40 than any other type of cancer and reduce life expectancy by 20 years on average - more than any other cancer.

“We are absolutely committed to changing that, through our strategy to double survival and halve the harm caused by brain tumours. Collaboration is key to reaching those goals.”

About Worldwide Cancer Research
Worldwide Cancer Research is the leading UK charity, based in St Andrews, Fife, funding research into any type of cancer, anywhere in the world.

They have invested over £180 million in research grants to some of the world’s best scientists across 34 different countries. The charity based in St Andrews, Scotland, has 107 active projects across 17 countries happening now.

About The Brain Tumour Charity
The Brain Tumour Charity is at the forefront of the fight to defeat brain tumours, making a difference every day to the lives of people with a brain tumour and their families. It funds pioneering research to increase survival, raises awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours and provides support for everyone affected.

The Charity’s goals are to double survival within 10 years in the UK and to halve the negative impact that brain tumours have on quality of life.

It adheres to nationally-recognised accreditations and best practice guidelines for every area of its work. The Charity funds an extensive and diverse portfolio of research across the UK with the aim of doubling survival and reducing long term harm through improving the understanding and complexities of brain tumours, better diagnostic techniques and new treatments.

The Brain Tumour Charity offers a comprehensive support and information service for anyone who is affected, including a support and information line, Information Standard accredited fact sheets, online peer-to-peer support and a dedicated Children and Families Service.

It funds and promotes the UK-wide HeadSmart campaign, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and young people to make earlier diagnosis a reality. Earlier diagnosis will reduce long-term disabilities and save lives.

In just three years, HeadSmart has reduced averaged diagnosis time from 9.1 weeks to 6.5 weeks.

Find out more at:

Members of the Association of Medical Research Charities, The Information Standard, The Helplines Partnership and the Fundraising Standards Board.