A Christmas tree with a difference is there for all to see at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Plymouth University, raising awareness and funding vital research into brain tumours.
Launched by the charity Brain Tumour Research, the annual Hope Tree Christmas Appeal asks people to send a donation and write a message of hope or remembrance on a bauble. The decorations are being hung on Hope Trees at the Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence at the Universities of Portsmouth and Plymouth, Queen Mary University of London, Imperial College, London, and at the charity’s HQ in Milton Keynes.
The work of researchers in Plymouth focuses on identifying and understanding the mechanism that makes a cell become cancerous and exploring ways in which to halt or reverse that mechanism. They are finding new biomarkers and drug targets in human primary cell cultures and investigate how existing drugs could be re-purposed as a therapy for brain tumours, making drug therapies available to patients safely and more quickly. This is vital work, as the only treatments currently available for brain tumours are invasive surgery and/or radiotherapy.
£1 million a year is needed to continue the vital research at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at Plymouth University. A local man recently left a gift of £100,000 in his will to research into brain tumours at Plymouth University, and a number of organisations offer support including Plymouth Argyle FC, Plymouth Raiders, Dartmoor Zoo, WBW Solicitors, Bright Solicitors, and local branches of Santander.
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, said:
“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. This Christmas, we are asking supporters to take a few moments to write a message of hope on the back of a bauble and send it back to us with a donation. The Hope Tree Appeal is a wonderfully simple and easy way to help find a cure for this cruel disease. Together we will find a cure.”
Brain Tumour Research is campaigning to see the national spend on brain tumour research increased to £30 million - £35 million a year, in line with breast and leukaemia, in order to advance treatments and ultimately find a cure.