University’s brain cancer fundraising campaign celebrates one-year milestone

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a doctor holding an illustrated brain in palm of hand

In February 2022, the University of Liverpool launched its Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer) Fund to support ground-breaking research into immunotherapy, a pioneering new treatment for brain cancer.

One year later, as we mark the UK’s Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March, the University is pleased to announce that its Campaign has raised almost £190,000 towards this life-changing research. In addition, its JustGiving page recently secured its 1000th donation to the Campaign.

Immunotherapy is a new type of treatment that is revolutionising oncology by manipulating the body's own immune system into fighting cancer. Researchers at the University of Liverpool working with The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust are studying the immune system response in long-term survivors and comparing the results with those patients who do not respond to treatment.

Dr Michael Cearns, who was appointed the Kevin O’Riordan Research Fellow in September last year, together with colleagues Dr Rasheed Zakaria and Professor Christian Ottensmeier, is undertaking the research into immunotherapy.

The PhD is named for Kevin O’Riordan who sadly died from brain cancer in 2020. Kevin’s wife Maria Gisbert Sorolla and family has so far raised more than £65,000 as part of their Seven4Kevin campaign, alongside other families affected by brain cancer who are fundraising for the glioblastoma fund.

We’d also like to acknowledge, with grateful thanks, a fellowship grant from the Royal College of Surgeons alongside donations from supporters Kathryn Stuart, Rosa Battley, Chris Barnes, Kate Reid, Paul Temple and Jim Corcoran.

Dr Kearns said:

“We need this [research] more than ever in brain cancer – the best treatments we have for glioblastoma have been in place for nearly 20 years and on average patients don’t survive much more than a year after diagnosis. If we could find a way of making an immunotherapy work for glioblastoma, this would have huge implications for these patients and their families.”

Support the campaign

Your support of this pioneering research will help our researchers investigate the effectiveness of immunotherapy as a treatment for brain cancer. Further research into this disease will help to identify the immune system factors that contribute to longer survival rates in patients and may identify new ways to treat glioblastoma in the future.

Your support can help us change lives. To find out how you can support the Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer) Fund and get us over the line, go to our website