Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence

Brain Tumour Research is an official charity partner of Plymouth University. We're one of four universities in the UK working with the charity to improve the treatment and outcomes of brain tumours.

Did you know:

  • brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40?
  • around 16,000 people a year in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour?
  • 58 per cent of sufferers die within a year of diagnosis, compared with four per cent for breast cancer and six per cent for prostate cancer?
  • brain tumours kill twice as many women as cervical cancer, and more men under the age of 45 than prostate or any other cancer?
  • in the average patient, brain tumours are responsible for 20 lost years of life?
  • the South West has the highest rate of brain tumours diagnosed per million in England?

The issue

Brain tumour research is woefully underfunded, receiving just one per cent of the national spending on cancer research. This means a critical lack of researchers to investigate the condition and more effective treatments. At this rate, it could take another 100 years to find a cure.

The solution

Brain Tumour Research is dedicated to increasing funding for research, bringing hope to brain tumour sufferers and those close to them. The charity is partnering with specialist teams at several UK universities, including experts at Plymouth, to establish, retain and grow world-leading teams to accelerate research into all 120-plus types of brain tumour. 

Our impact

Plymouth’s Centre of Excellence specialises in low-grade brain tumours, which are usually benign, slow-growing but ultimately can become malignant. Our focus is to identify and understand the mechanism underlying the development of brain tumours, and explore ways to halt or reverse that mechanism.

The only current treatments for brain tumours are surgery to remove them or radiotherapy. A key innovation is fast-track testing new drugs in human primary cell cultures. Innovative early phase clinical trials lead to adaptive phase II/III trials, with the potential for making drug therapies available to patients. These will enhance or ultimately replace the current treatments.

“We will find a drug therapy and, because we work using a fast-track method, we will get it to patients quickly.” – Professor Oliver Hanemann, Associate Dean Research and Research Lead for Brain Tumour, Plymouth University.

Plymouth University partnership with Brain Tumour Research

The charity Brain Tumour Research is dedicated to increasing funding for research, bringing more hope to brain tumour patients and those close to them.

Case study: Sam Gadd

Sam Gadd, 45, is a social worker in Devon. Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012, she is currently undergoing treatment.

Read Sam's story

Case study: April Watkins

Plymouth University graduate April Watkins, 23, is a support worker for adults with learning difficulties. In 2010, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and, following surgery, has made a good recovery.

Read April's story

Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research

  • Students having fun and raising vital funds for Brain Tumour Research

    Campus Colour Dash

    Students having fun and raising vital funds for Brain Tumour Research
  • Students fundraising for Brain Tumour Research

    Campus Colour Dash

    Students fundraising for Brain Tumour Research
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash
  • The race warm up

    Campus Colour Dash

    The race warm up
  • Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research
  • Campus Colour Dash - Explosion of Colour

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash - Explosion of Colour
  • The warm up

    Campus Colour Dash

    The warm up
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Pre-race bright whites

    Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research

    Pre-race bright whites
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash #PlymBrain

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Explosion of Colour

    Campus Colour Dash

    Explosion of Colour
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash for Brain Tumour Research

    Campus Colour Dash
  • Pictured: Nicola Langdon who won the prize draw - a FitBit Alta!

    Campus Colour Dash

    Pictured: Nicola Langdon who won the prize draw - a FitBit Alta!
  • Campus Colour Dash - Explosion of Colour

    Campus Colour Dash

    Campus Colour Dash - Explosion of Colour

Media coverage  

Plymouth teenager Jasmine Bayly, who has an inoperable brain tumour, welcomed the launch of the Plymouth University Brain Tumour Research Centre. The following clip was featured on ITV Westcountry when the Centre opened its doors on 20 November 2014.

Professor Oliver Hanemann, who leads the research, has called for continued support before and after the 2015 Brain Tumour Research Wear A Hat Day push.

Devon Junior and Minor League side Roborough Youth FC set an excellent example as winners of a kit competition run to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.

Our students have also found novel ways to support the cause, such as a 'virtual' horse racing event that raised over £200.


Book a lab tour

Take a tour of Brain Tumour Research’s Centre of Excellence at Plymouth University and meet the scientists undertaking world-leading research into low-grade brain tumours and pioneering non-invasive treatments.

A tour of our labs is a great opportunity to experience the environment, see the equipment and ask questions of the team undertaking this vital research on a daily basis. Visitors will be looked after by our local Brain Tumour Research regional fundraiser and shown the ‘Wall of Hope’, created to celebrate those who help fund the research, recognised by personalised plaques and significant dates. 

Indeed, our lab tours often coincide with a formal placement of more plaques (or tiles as we sometimes call them) on the Wall of Hope, a permanent recognition of the funds raised through the efforts of the charity’s amazing supporters.

Please join us soon for a very informative and interesting opportunity.  

We need your support

£1 million a year is required to fund Plymouth’s Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence. Join us in the fight to raise awareness and vital funds by visiting our how-to-give pages and helping further world-leading research in this ‘last battleground against cancer’.

Volunteers and donors who support Plymouth’s Centre of Excellence can be assured that every penny raised in the South West is invested in research - a direct benefit to the health and wealth of your region.

Are you a great organiser who'd would like to get involved in fundraising projects for local research?

Do you run a business, or work with a business, that would like to make Brain Tumour Research your designated charity?

Maybe you just want to be part of an amazing team tackling the devastating effects of brain tumours, but haven’t quite worked out what that contribution might be?

However you’d like to be involved, we’d love to hear from you. 

Help us fund the fight

Donate online

OR text ‘BRAIN’ to ‘70660’ to donate £3.  

Text costs £3 plus network charge. Charity receives 100 per cent of your donation. Please seek bill payer's permission. Customer care +44 1752 588020. Charity No XN80875. Further terms and conditions apply, please visit: www.plymouth.ac.uk/donate.

Thank you to those who are helping...

Your support is making a difference. 

The life-changing ambitions of the Plymouth Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence demand a team effort, and we are grateful to our University partners for sharing this vision.

The following supporters have also helped us fund the fight against brain tumours:

And our thanks for raising awareness also go to: