Brain tumours and stem cell therapy

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Wear a Hat Day, organised by the charity, Brain Tumour Research is entering its 8th year on a high.

In Parliament, MPs including Jeremy Corbyn, Amber Rudd and Iain Duncan Smith have worn charity badges and in a question to Theresa May, the Chair of the APPG on Brain Tumours, Derek Thomas MP, reminded Members that March is Brain Tumour Awareness Month (BTAM):

Brain tumours remain the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40 and that has to change. There has been great progress over the last month with the government turning its attention to this under-funded disease. But there is so much more that can be done.

The charity has also seen tremendous celebrity support this year. Radio presenter, performer and Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Debbie McGee is one ambassador for the charity who is calling for a change in government spending. She urged the public:

It is a shocking fact that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Funds raised through Wear A Hat Day 2018 will develop the charity’s network of world-class brain tumour research centres in the UK. Please get involved if you can – it’s simple and fun to take part.

Joining Debbie are a host of familiar faces including Doctor and TV Presenter Dawn Harper, who told the heartfelt story of a brain tumour patient she had treated:

All GPs can tell you of someone whose plight has stayed in their memory. For me I remember being called out in the evening to a patient in the final stages of his fight against a brain tumour. Not only did this poor man’s distress resonate with me, but it was all the more heart-breaking treating the patient whilst his eight year old daughter looked on.
Too many children have lost parents prematurely and parents should never have to lose their children to this devastating form of cancer. We must act to improve outcomes for patients and increase funding into brain tumour research. In my role as a new ambassador for Brain Tumour Research, I am asking you to get involved in Wear A Hat Day – a fun-filled day for a vital cause. Help fund the fight. Together we will find a cure.

Cord blood stem cells can treat brain tumour patients

At Biovault Family, we will also be wearing hats this Thursday in support of Brain Tumour Research. Our team work with the NHS to release samples that save the lives of patients suffering from a wide range of illnesses.

Regenerative medicine is an exciting development in the treatment of many forms of cancers. Stem cells, the parent cells of all other cells in our bodies, have the ability to regenerate and repair damaged cells, leading to improved recovery rates in patients following chemotherapy and the use of other cancer treatments.

 four-year-old girl became the first patient in Spain to recover from brain cancer after being treated with stem cells from her own umbilical cord blood. Her story was published in Spain by the Catholic News Agency:

Alba was born healthy in 2007, but at age two she was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Her treatment consisted of extracting the majority of the tumor from her brain. She was then given chemotherapy to reduce and eventually eliminate the remainder of the tumor. Alba’s blood system was destroyed during the final round of chemo, thus requiring a transplant of cord blood stem cells. Fourteen months after the transplant, her blood system was completely restored, and she has since enjoyed a normal life.

Alba’s doctor, Dr. Madero commented, “In recent years, transplants of cord blood stem cells have become increasingly common. In the case of siblings, these stem cells are the best therapeutic option that exists.”

Alba’s parents agreed that keeping the blood from Alba’s umbilical cord was the “best investment” they ever made.

Her father, Santiago, added that he had previously seen a report “on the treatment for Parkinson’s using stem cells … and was sympathetic to the idea of using stem cells to treat degenerative diseases.” Alba’s mother added: “Keeping the umbilical cord is a wager for the future, a life insurance policy that you don’t know if you will need but that could save a life.”


Wear A Hat Day

Brain Tumour Research

Catholic News Agency

stem cell preservation

BSc (Hons) Microbiology

Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.

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