Chiswick Woman Welcomes Brain Tumour Research Centre

She has lost three family members to the cancer


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A Chiswick woman who lost three members of her family to brain tumours has welcomed a new London research centre which will bring hope to 16,000 people diagnosed each year.

Bernadette Murdoch, who lives in Fauconberg Road, has faced the loss to brain tumours of three family members living in her native Australia. Her mum Jane Basell, died 10 years ago after being diagnosed at the age of 54. Bernadette’s aunt, who had helped care for Jane in her final months, died in 2012 and she also lost an uncle to the disease.

Bernadette, who is Director of Communications (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) for global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline, was among family members and carers, patients, scientists, clinicians and charity workers who gathered for the launch of a groundbreaking new partnership between the charity Brain Tumour Research and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in collaboration with the UCL Institute of Neurology. The work will focus on investigating how glioblastomas, a malignant, aggressive type of brain tumour and tragically one of the most common, develop.

“Both my mum and my aunt had glioblastoma tumours which are difficult to diagnose and have very poor survival rates. Any research which can help to better understand what is causing these tumours, how we can diagnose them more easily and identify ways to treat them, is extremely welcome. The work being carried out at this Brain Tumour Research centre is incredibly important,” she said.

The launch event (Thursday 23rd Octobe) was hosted by Brain Tumour Research Patron, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP – Speaker of the House of Commons. John spoke about his ongoing support: “This is an historic moment for Brain Tumour Research. Based on what they have achieved already, the prognosis is now brighter for patients and families affected by this terrible disease.

“But we can’t be complacent. Unlike many other cancers, brain tumour research does not benefit from general research. It is only through giving to charities funding laboratory-based research that all 120+ types of brain tumour will be cured. I will continue to do all that I can to help bring the UK to the forefront of brain tumour research.”

The Centre of Excellence is being led by Professor Silvia Marino, a leading brain tumour scientist and neuropathologist based at QMUL’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, and will specialise in identifying how glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) forms and grows within the brain with the final aim to identify more efficient drug treatments.

Professor Marino said: “Glioblastomas are a malignant, aggressive type of brain tumour and tragically one of the most common. With Brain Tumour Research’s help we will be investigating how the tumours develop, which is key to advancing their treatment. This is a major initiative in an underfunded research area in the UK.”

Sue Farrington Smith, Chief Executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “Today is a milestone for the research. Together we’re establishing a powerful new team of researchers who will share our ambition of creating a better future for those diagnosed and living with a brain tumour. We are all determined that one day we will find a cure.”

Brain Tumour Research currently helps fund – through corporate and public fundraising – an annual £1 million programme of research at their Centre of Excellence in the University of Portsmouth. This relationship with QMUL, along with additional new partnerships with Plymouth University and Imperial College in London, will pave the way for a £20 million investment in brain tumour research over the next five years.

For more information visit and keep up to date with the latest news from the charity on Facebook and Twitter.

March 19, 2014

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