Yorkshire Charities Reunite to Fund Further Pioneering Brain Tumour Research

04 August 2016

THREE Yorkshire charities have reunited to fund further cutting-edge research into brain tumours.

Yorkshire Cancer Research joined forces with Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire and Ellie’s Fund - Brain Tumour Trust in 2014 to fund a pioneering investigation into the cancer cells that make up glioblastomas.

These tumours are the most common and most aggressive form of adult brain cancer, with an average survival of just 14 months following diagnosis. 

Researchers led by Dr Lucy Stead at the School of Medicine, University of Leeds, have successfully isolated single cells from patient tumours. Now, following a further investment of £10,000, the team plans to study the cells to understand why tumours recur after treatment and identify better ways to target this resistance.

Brain tumour research is significantly under-funded, receiving less than 1% of cancer research spending in the UK.

Dr Stead said: “Despite treatment with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, almost all glioblastoma tumours recur. We know that glioblastomas are made up of different subpopulations of cancer cells that, whilst related, are not exactly the same. It is the subtle differences between the subpopulations that enable some cells in the tumour to survive treatment and result in the regrowth of an even less treatable tumour. 

“This is a very technically challenging project and we have used the investment made so far to better isolate and capture these cells. However, there is more to be done and we are hugely grateful for this additional investment, which is going to help us start characterising these cells in unprecedented detail and applying these hugely useful techniques to even more challenging samples.”

Rachel Finlay, Charity Manager at Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire, said: “We are very proud to be collaborating further with Yorkshire Cancer Research and Ellie’s Fund - Brain Tumour Trust on this project. Our collective effort represents even more value for money to our donors as we keep our research investment local. It is hoped this brain tumour project will be of benefit to the brain tumour community in Yorkshire, and then beyond.”

Heather Othick, founder of Ellie’s Fund - Brain Tumour Trust, said: “We are delighted that three Yorkshire charities are able to support Dr Stead and her team in this pioneering investigation. Our supporters, and those of Yorkshire Cancer Research and Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire, should be very proud to know that their efforts are being used for local research, which may eventually be referred to worldwide.”

Dr Kathryn Scott, Head of Research and Innovation at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue to support this vital work with the help of Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire and Ellie’s Fund - Brain Tumour Trust. We strongly believe that by working with other Yorkshire-based charities we can make a real difference to the treatment of cancer patients living here in our region.”



Ellie’s Fund – Brain Tumour Trust supports children and young people across Yorkshire & the Humber who have a brain tumour and raise money for brain tumour research, as well as raising brain tumour awareness.

Ellie’s Fund – Brain Tumour Trust was set up after the death of 14 year old Ellie Othick-Bowmaker from Scarborough. During the 3 years that she fought her own 2 brain tumours, Ellie helped to raise over £25,000. She inspired many people to join in. Ellie’s legacy is the money that is being used to help others. We provide assistance to families who live in Yorkshire and across the Humber and who have a child going through treatment for a brain tumour. We also support families within the Borough of Scarborough (UK) who have a child with any form of cancer. We raise awareness about brain tumours and support established research projects.


Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire objectives are:

•    To fund Yorkshire and Humber based brain tumour research to develop clinical trials, whilst providing investment into other relevant studies, ensuring all research is written up for publication and communicated with appropriate charities and research organisations.
•    To develop a network of care and support for every brain tumour patient, their families and carers within the Yorkshire and Humber region who wish to access it including the provision of grants or financial aid to brain tumour patients and carers who fall in to a specific criteria set by the Trustees of BTRS.

Since February 2003 Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire has raised nearly £2.5m for brain tumour research and support in Yorkshire.



Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: nikki@ycr.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 575 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
    • Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.
  • For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Help us do more

Your support will help us save more Yorkshire lives.

Fundraising Events Shop with us Volunteering Cancer in Yorkshire