In response to the recent campaign on Brain Cancer, David said:
"I appreciate your concerns and it is encouraging that the Government recognises the need to increase research into brain tumours to achieve better outcomes for patients and families.
The Department of Health has recently established a Task and Finish Working Group on Brain Tumour Research. This group brings together clinicians, charities and officials to establish how the level and impact of brain tumour research can be furthered by working alongside funding partners. Under chairmanship of Professor Chris Whitty, chief scientific advisor to the Department of Health, the group met for the third time in May 2017. The group aims to report back to Ministers regarding their findings.
The National Institute for Health Research is also supporting clinical trials to contribute to the development and delivery of brain tumour research. In 2015/16, these trials supported 1,061 patients over 37 brain cancer studies, identifying new research opportunities and areas of clinical need.
Survival rates for cancer are at a record high and we are on track to save an estimated 12,000 more lives a year for people diagnosed between 2011 and 2015. However, it is clear that more can still be done. I am therefore encouraged that the Government is working with clinical partners to deliver a new cancer strategy developed by the independent Cancer Taskforce. This will ensure that by 2020, everyone referred with a suspicion of cancer will receive either a definitive diagnosis or the all-clear within four weeks. This is supported by up to £300 million a year of investment by 2020 to increase diagnostic capacity and a further £112 million to support the skilled personnel and advanced facilities at the forefront of clinical research."