Fund research for childhood cancers with the worst survival rates

12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.

This petition closed on 5 Sep 2020 with 109,178 signatures


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Recent Documents related to Fund research for childhood cancers with the worst survival rates

1. Cancer treatment
18/04/2018 - Parliamentary Research

Found: DEBATE PACK Number CDP2018/0090, 5 April 2018 Cancer treatment By Dr Sarah Barber Nikki Sutherland

2. Brain tumour research: task and finish working group report
22/02/2018 - Department of Health and Social Care
- View source

Found: Finish Working Group on Brain Tumour Research 2 You may re -use the text of this document

3. E-petition debate: Funding for research into brain tumours
15/04/2016 - Parliamentary Research

Found: 2016/0083, 13 April 2016 E-petition debate: Funding of research into brain tumours By This pack has been

4. e-Petition debate on child cancer
25/11/2016 - Parliamentary Research

Found: 24 November 2016 E-petition debate on child cancer Dr Sarah Barber Nikki Sutherland This pack has

5. Independent Cancer Taskforce Report
13/10/2017 - Public Health England (PHE)
- View source

Found: WORLD-CLASS CANCER OUTCOMES A STRATEGY FOR ENGLAND 2015-2020 Report of the Independent Cancer Taskforce

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Fund research for childhood cancers with the worst survival rates

1. Childhood Cancers: Research
07/12/2020 - Westminster Hall

1: considered e-petition 300027, relating to research into childhood cancers. It is a pleasure to serve under - Speech Link

2. Paediatric Cancers of the Central Nervous System
22/10/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: six-year-old little boy from Llanharan in my constituency, tragically died after suffering a relapse of an aggressive - Speech Link
2: so he has tons of time. About 400 children are diagnosed with a central nervous system tumour in the UK - Speech Link
3: this horrendous condition.Cian was first diagnosed with an atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumour in 2015 - Speech Link

3. Child Cancer
28/11/2016 - Westminster Hall

1: considered e-petition 162934 relating to child cancer.It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship - Speech Link

4. Cancer Treatment
19/04/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: longer; recognises the Government’s increased funding for research; and calls on the Government to increase - Speech Link
2: longer; recognises the Government’s increased funding for research; and calls on the Government to increase - Speech Link

5. Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
14/11/2017 - Commons Chamber

1: rare form of childhood brain tumour.I applied for this debate to raise awareness of DIPG, to highlight - Speech Link
2: late hour. DIPG is one of those diseases for which there is no treatment, no cure and no survival rate, but - Speech Link

6. Brain Tumours
18/04/2016 - Westminster Hall

1: considered e-petition 105560 relating to funding for research into brain tumours.It is a great - Speech Link

7. Cancer Strategy
22/02/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: move,That this House has considered the Cancer Strategy.Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker - Speech Link

8. Lung Cancer
26/04/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: about positive change for people to live well with cancer for longer. The abiding theme through all that - Speech Link

9. Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission
13/05/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: to update the House on the progress we have made in tackling brain cancer, including on a new innovation - Speech Link

10. Non-invasive Precision Cancer Therapies
18/07/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: recognises the vital role that radiotherapy plays in cancer treatment across the UK with an estimated one in - Speech Link
2: recognises the vital role that radiotherapy plays in cancer treatment across the UK with an estimated one in - Speech Link
3: therapy unit, which is going to be the future of cancer treatment. However, when I speak to the staff at - Speech Link
4: that many of them will be children with brain cancers, but the number represents only 1% of patients - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Fund research for childhood cancers with the worst survival rates
1. Pancreatic Cancer: Research
asked by: Julian Lewis
27/02/2020
... what criteria are applied in determining the level of funding of research into pancreatic cancer relative to investment in research into other types of cancer; what assessment has been made of the prognosis for surviving pancreatic cancer relative to that for surviving other types of cancer; and what assessment he has made of whether pancreatic cancer survival rates would be improved by (a) greater public awareness of its symptoms and (b) earlier diagnosis of the disease.

Latest Questions

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The Government must state how much has been given for childhood cancers and DIPG specifically. 

The Government, through the NIHR, must ringfence funds for childhood cancer research. The figures must be transparent as must the Government's answers about the lack of progress in curing these diseases.

The Government should fund awareness campaigns such as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month & Sarcoma Awareness week. Awareness + research = cure Our children keep suffering and dying.


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Government Response

In May 2018 the Government announced £40 million over five years for brain tumour research as part of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission. This includes funding for childhood brain tumour research.


We know that a cancer diagnosis is devastating to families. That is why cancer survival is our priority made clear in the NHS Long Term Plan.

To ensure better outcomes for those affected by cancer we must focus our efforts on innovative research, and into new methods of diagnosis and treatment.

That is why we have invested £1bn per year in health research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). NIHR cancer research expenditure has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £132 million in 2018/19, the largest investment in a disease area.

Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM)
In May 2018 the Government announced £40 million over five years for brain tumour research as part of the TJBCM. This includes funding for childhood cancers research and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

Funding will be invested through the NIHR to support a wide range of research from early translation (experimental medicine), through clinical, and on to applied health and care research. In essence this will support the translation of laboratory discoveries into treatments and better care for patients, including children.

The Department is working actively as part of the TJBCM to improve research and care for people with brain cancer. We welcome the launch of the Tessa Jowell BRAIN MATRIX. This is an exciting new trials platform that will give people with brain cancer, including children, access to trials of treatments that are best-suited to their individual tumours. The Brain Tumour Charity is providing £2.8 million research funding for the study, which will enable doctors to treat brain tumours with drugs that are more targeted than ever before.

Together with NHS England, NHS Improvement and the National Cancer Research Institute, the Department joined the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce recent research roundtable event to consider how the number of high-quality research applications can be increased for these difficult-to-treat cancers.

As with other Government funders of health research, the NIHR does not generally allocate funding for specific disease areas. The level of research spend in a particular area, such as childhood cancers and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, is driven by factors including scientific potential and the number and scale of successful funding applications.

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs)
The UK Health Departments and Cancer Research UK are jointly funding a network of eighteen ECMCs across the UK, investing a total of £36m in the third five-year period (2017-2022). This includes a Paediatric ECMC Network dedicated to early phase research on childhood cancers.

Cancer trials and studies
The NIHR Clinical Research Network has over 800 cancer trials and studies recruiting or in set-up. Through the Network, the proportion of patients entering cancer clinical trials and studies is more than double that in any other country for which data exists, including the United States

Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)
The NIHR is funding and supporting a range of research for children with neuroblastoma. For example: the NIHR Great Ormond Street BRC is researching the use of imaging to assess the efficacy of induction chemotherapy for high-risk neuroblastoma; the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre is studying the genetic profiles of high risk neuroblastomas to provide predictive and prognostic biomarkers for current and future targeted therapies; and the NIHR Royal Marsden Biomedical Research Centre is developing preclinical models of neuroblastoma and childhood soft tissue sarcoma cells for the development of target-driven drug treatment.

In September 2016 the Secretary of State for Health announced an £816 million investment in 20 NIHR Biomedical Research Centres for 5 years from April 2017. This funding includes the NIHR Royal Marsden/Institute of Cancer Research BRC which will focus exclusively on cancer research and will receive £43 million over five years from April 2017. Five other BRCs will have dedicated cancer research themes. The funding amount for cancer research over 5 years across all BRCs is an estimated £131 million

The NIHR is committed to the involvement, engagement and participation of children and young people in research, supporting researchers and funders, as well as empowering children and young people to lead their own journey with research.

The NIHR have many children and young people initiatives ongoing, such as:

Raising awareness e.g. some Local Clinical Research Networks have set up Children and Young People's Forums to engage them in raising awareness of health research among their peers

Contributing to feedback. In 2018/19 over 900 children and young people (11% of respondents) gave feedback about their experience of participating in clinical research through the NIHR Research Participant Experience Survey

Department of Health and Social Care


MPs spoken contributions during 7 Dec 2020 petition debate