Many of us in Alvechurch and across Bromsgrove have been grieved by the loss of young Finlay Church to a brain tumour. Finlay was inspirational to the end, and it was a privilege to meet with his parents in Parliament as they continue his work to help others battling against this cancer.
With regard to research funding, Government and charities work closely together on brain tumour research through the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI). The proportion of cancer research funding directly supporting brain tumour research was 1.5 per cent in 2014. Excluding the proportion of this brain tumour funding which was spent on fundamental research and funding relevant to all cancers, brain tumour research received 3.3 per cent of research funding into a specific cancer. This was higher than 40 of the 49 specific cancer research categories.
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including brain tumours. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition. The NIHR works closely with patients, charities and our world-leading life sciences industry to support further research into brain tumours. NIHR funding is not ring-fenced for cancer research or for research on brain tumours or other types of cancer. Nonetheless, encouragingly NIHR research spending on cancer has increased by a third from £101 million in 2010/11 to £135 million in 2014/15.
I can report that Government welcomes the commitment by Cancer Research UK to increase spending on brain tumour research and this will drive further investment by the NIHR.