UK Government to double cancer research funding in memory of the late Tessa Jowell

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 14 May 2018 in News

Prime Minister reveals that the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Research Mission will receive £40m a year from government funding

Image credit: PA

The UK Government will double its annual spend on research aimed at tackling brain cancer in memory of the late Tessa Jowell, Theresa May has said.

The Prime Minister revealed that the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Research Mission would receive £40m a year from government funding, up from the £20m she pledged to Dame Tessa in February.

Meanwhile Cancer Research has pledged a further £25m, on top of the £13m it already spends, bringing the fund to an initial £65m a year.

The Labour peer, who was diagnosed with the illness in May last year, suffered a haemorrhage on Friday and died peacefully on Saturday at her Warwickshire home.

The new programme will see ministers deliver on calls made by Dame Tessa including for the full national rollout of a key brain cancer diagnosis test - gold standard dye - to identify tumours and for accelerated use of adaptive trials.

This dye, which Dame Tessa called for in an emotional Lords speech earlier this year, is currently only used in half of brain cancer centres in England.

The UK will also host an annual Tessa Jowell global symposium, to bring together “the best clinical, scientific and academic minds on brain cancer”.

May said: “Baroness Tessa Jowell faced her illness with dignity and courage - and it was a privilege to host her in Downing Street recently to discuss what more we can do to tackle brain cancer.

“We send our sincere condolences to her family - and I hope that the actions we are taking now and in the future to improve care and research for those confronting a terrible disease will form part of the lasting legacy of an inspirational woman.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We were all moved by her bravery and selfless campaigning in her final months, and are determined to honour her life and memory with the action on brain cancer that she fought so hard for.

“At this agonising time, I hope her family can draw comfort from the fact that her legacy will be lives saved and heartbreak averted for thousands of other families.”

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