Sharing information to help brain tumour diagnosis

The Universal Cancer Databank (UCD) launched last week aiming to gather information and help progress towards a cure.

Tessa Jowell
Credit: The Brain Tumour Charity
Data will be collected from people diagnosed with cancer around the world. The project by the Eliminate Cancer Initiative (ECI) follows the work The Brain Tumour Charity has done to create its own databank BRIAN (the Brain tumouR Information and Analysis Network). BRIAN will allow people diagnosed with a brain tumour to compare their experiences with others', and provide doctors and scientists with information to improve their understanding of the disease. BRIAN will play a key role in the development of the UCD. Baroness Tessa Jowell, who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma last year, was the first patient to sign up formally to the UCD, underlining the focus on brain tumour patients as a priority for the project. The Brain Tumour Charity pledged to contribute £20m over the next five years to the UK Brain Cancer Mission – and to work with ECI on maximising the impact of the UCD. Sarah Lindsell, chief executive, The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We know that most people affected by brain tumours are ready and willing to share information about their diagnosis and experience in order to help find a cure. Many have already done so through BRIAN. “We welcome the ECI's commitment to develop a Universal Cancer Databank and we are delighted that it will operate in collaboration with BRIAN to maximise the benefits of data-sharing for those around the world who are diagnosed with a brain tumour." Baroness Jowell said: "It is my hope that through my cancer journey and sharing of my data, we will be able to develop better treatments for cancer and speed up the discovery of new ones." The launched took place the day after a brain tumour debate took place in the House of Commons. This paid tribute to the work Baroness Tessa Jowell is doing to drive change and awareness in the diagnosis of brain tumours.
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