33885 - Brain: Tumours (Answered)

John Pugh
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what support the Government provides to research into the causes and treatment of brain tumours.

George Freeman

The Department funds the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to increase the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, drive faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and develop and support the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. NIHR cancer research expenditure has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £135 million in 2014/15 (the latest available figure). Most of this investment (£111 million in 2014/15) is in cancer research infrastructure where spend on specific disease areas such as brain tumours cannot be separated from total infrastructure expenditure. This infrastructure including NIHR biomedical research centres and the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. It is an independent research funding body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The MRC supports research through a range of grants and personal awards to scientists in universities, medical schools and other research institutes and welcomes investigator-initiated research proposals in all areas of research relevant to human health. Between 2010/11 to 2014/15 the MRC spent £10.9 million supporting research into brain and pituitary tumours, spanning basic discovery science, translational projects to progress treatments to clinics and early clinical trials.

More brain tumour research is needed and, as announced on 18 April, Official Report, columns 258-59WH, I will be convening a working group of clinicians, charities and officials to discuss how working together with our research funding partners, we can address this.