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Ollie Young Foundation and Brain Tumour Research

Brain Tumours...

• kill more children than leukaemia or any other cancer.

• kill more women under 35 than breast or any other cancer.

• kill more men under 45 than prostate or any other cancer.

• are the main cancer killer of people under 40.

What’s more...

• 16,000 people are diagnosed with a primary, malignant brain tumour each year. When other types of brain tumour are factored in, this number will be anything up to 3 times greater.

• for brain cancer patients the five year survival rate is just 14%.

• Up to 40% of all cancers spread to the brain.


• Brain tumour research receives only 0.7% of UK national cancer research spending. The laboratory-based element of that is even less.


• When Ollie was diagnosed, there was no treatment, no cure. No answers for his family. And no hope.

What is the charity known as Brain Tumour Research?

In 2004, several UK brain tumour charities committed to working together under the banner of the United Brain Tumour Campaign, with the aim of raising funds for research into the prevention and treatment of brain tumours in addition to seeking a cure.

In 2008 Brain Tumour Research was launched as the ‘campaign voice’ of the 20 member charities and 17 umbrella charities, which have diverse purposes and are geographically disparate. For example Ellie’s Dream and Charlie’s Challenge, like Ollie Young Foundation, are paediatric brain tumour charities, while Headcase is a glioblastoma charity for adults.

Five year survival for leukaemia patients is now 80%, compared to 20% thirty years ago, and this is a direct result of the level of funding it has received, along with the success of the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity which currently raises around £22 million annually to support research and clinical trials in that area. However, many people surviving from cancers such as leukaemia, breast and prostate cancer will go on to develop secondary cancers in the brain.

The Ollie Young Foundation wants to support Brain Tumour Research in their ambition to bring a similar change of fortune to those diagnosed with brain tumours, by developing greater national awareness of the situation and by raising money to help fund the work being conducted by its first centre of excellence in Portsmouth.

What is the aim of Brain Tumour Research??

• To raise at least £7 million per annum, to support seven centres of excellence dedicated to laboratory-based brain tumour research. The first of these is the centre of excellence established in Portsmouth under the direction of Professor Geoff Pilkington.

• To accelerate progress significantly in UK brain tumour research in order to make a clinical difference.

• To improve the outcomes for brain tumour patients.

• For more on Brain Tumour Research see www.braintumourresearch.org

How will money from the Ollie Young Foundation be used?

At Portsmouth, the work of the research team concentrates on developing models for the study of primary brain tumours, investigating the mechanisms underlying invasive behaviour in glioma (the most common type of tumour, which forms from the glial cells which support the nerve cells of the brain) and developing new strategies in which mitochondria, rather than cell nuclei, are targeted in order to cause programmed cell death selectively in brain tumour cells while leaving the normal brain unaffected.

Our mid term goal is to fund a PhD student within the Portsmouth laboratory, researching glioblastoma multiforme, which is the specific condition from which Ollie died. Currently (2013) the cost of this is around £30,000 for each of 3 years, ie £90,000 in total.

Our longer-term goal is to fund a post-doctoral researcher conducting work into glioblastoma multiforme, which would follow on from the findings of the PhD research. Currently (2013) the cost of each post-doctoral research project is around £137,000 for 3 years. Although research will focus on this specific area, the results may well be of value to other, if not all, forms of brain tumour.

On an on-going basis we wish to raise funds for vital pieces of equipment for use in the Portsmouth laboratory, which will be purchased in Ollie’s memory. Brain Tumour Research prioritises the funding of people and equipment tends to be funded separately by its contributing charities.