Research opportunities in brain cancers

Brain tumour research

Brain tumour survival remains low, and has changed little in over a generation. That's why we've made brain tumours a strategic priority as one of our four "cancers of unmet need".

We're boosting our investment into brain tumours, and we expect to spend around £25 million over the next five years on ring-fenced, targeted initiatives. We aim to expand our research portfolio across the research pipeline, and in all types of brain tumours, whether paediatric or adult.


Our strategy and priorities

Illustration of brain

We want to support the research that will make a real difference to people with brain tumours.

To achieve our ambitions, we’re building a dynamic, multidisciplinary research community through training, recruitment and by helping people shift their focus to brain tumour research. We’re also developing infrastructure to support hubs of expertise and innovation.

We’ve identified ten big questions in brain tumour research which, if answered, could significantly accelerate progress for patients. If you have ideas for tackling these challenges, we’d love to talk to you about making them a reality.

Funding opportunities

We have a broad portfolio of funding schemes to cater for research across the pipeline and researchers at all career levels.

Brain tumours are a priority for all our funding committees, and our Research Funding Managers can help you identify funding that meets your needs and guide you through your application.

Cancer Research UK Brain Tumour Conference

Brain Tumour Conference

We'll be gathering world experts across a range of disciplines to discuss the latest advances in brain tumour research and how we can continue to drive forward progress.

Our events break the barriers between disciplines and open up new avenues for collaborative research. So save the date, and check back for more details closer to the time!

date icon 1–3 May 2018
people icon Richard Gilbertson, Scientific Committee Chair
Luis F Parada, Keynote

Our infrastructure

CRUK Cambridge Institute (Photo by Joe Dunckley)

Our extensive network of infrastructure provides state-of-the-art facilities, resources and platforms to support your research.

Our institutes provide an exceptional environment for discovery research. They include London's Francis Crick Institute, where cancer researchers collaborate with basic scientists in a variety of fields.

Our centres drive translational research collaborations at 13 locations. Our centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh, The Institute of Cancer Research and University College London have particular strengths in brain tumour research.

Our Experimental Cancer Medicines Centres and Clinical Trials Units provide a unique service supporting clinical research, including designing and managing innovative and complex studies.

We also embrace the opportunities created by working closely with the UK's National Health Service, including access to cutting-edge clinical facilities such as proton beam.

Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence

In February 2018, we launched the CRUK Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence to create a hub of expertise and drive progress in paediatric brain cancers. Led by Professor Richard Gilbertson at Cambridge and Professor Paul Workman at The Institute of Cancer Research in London, the centre will unite teams across the research pipeline at the two locations. It will have a particular focus on drug discovery for paediatric tumours, drawing on the strengths of the CRUK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at the ICR.

Our portfolio

We fund the best research from the best researchers, across the translational pipeline and the breadth of brain tumour types. The case studies below provide a taste of the kinds of projects and programmes that we currently support.

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