The Molly Lane Fox Unit opens at The National Hospital thanks to The National Brain Appeal. The NHS will take a major step in improving the care of patients with brain cancer with the opening of the UK’s first dedicated brain tumour unit at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, part of University College Hospitals London NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).

The National Brain Appeal, the charity that supports the hospital by funding clinical posts, cutting edge technology, infrastructure and research, has invested a total of £2.5 million in the unit and brain cancer service.

Patients will benefit from rapid assessment and treatment thanks to the dedicated unit and multidisciplinary team, all specialists in brain tumours. The hospital’s comprehensive brain cancer service has developed significantly over the past three years, with key clinical and research staff recruited with the help of the charity.

UCLH now has significant capacity for a range of brain tumour clinical trials. They have six studies currently open and were the number one recruiter worldwide for a recent trial. This is a direct result of The National Brain Appeal funding clinical trials staff. The charity has also provided funds to help set up a Brain Tumour Tissue Bank which will be a significant resource for research into brain cancer in the UK and internationally.

Mr Neil Kitchen, consultant neurosurgeon at NHNN, said:
“The Brain Tumour Unit is so much more than a physical space for us to treat patients. It will allow us to create a critical mass of expertise and experience among all the professional groups involved. This concentration of clinical expertise, alongside being the most active centre for clinical trials and leading scientific research into the genetic profiling of tumours, will enable the unit to become a beacon for the treatment of brain cancer in the UK.”

Every day at least 20 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour. The Molly Lane Fox Unit and its pioneering team of specialist doctors, nurses, therapists and researchers will pave the way for breakthroughs in the treatment and understanding of the disease for the benefit of anyone affected in the UK. Funding from The National Brain Appeal has been crucial for enabling this vital work.

Theresa Dauncey, chief executive of The National Brain Appeal, said:
“Sadly, unlike most other cancers, the prognosis for brain tumours has changed little over the last century. There is a real and pressing need for more research and investment into understanding and treating brain cancer. It is the most common cancer killer of the under 40s and the biggest cancer killer of children in the UK. It is also the highest of all cancers to be diagnosed at a critical stage with 58 per cent of patients in England presenting as emergencies. We hope the public will continue to donate to this vital work and we urge people to be “brain aware” and note the symptoms. Severe headaches, fits, unexplained numbness, vision, speech or concentration problems could all be signs of a tumour.”