Blackburn charity sponsoring brain tumour researcher

17 December 2018

Money will fund three-year project

A Blackburn charity is continuing its support of research at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) into the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 by sponsoring a researcher for the next three years.

Inbetweenears, a member charity of the national Brain Tumour Research charity, was set up by Jay Lynchehaun of Clitheroe after he was diagnosed seven years ago, aged 25, with an aggressive glioblastoma multiform (GBM) brain tumour. As well as funding research, the charity offers support to brain tumour patients and their families.

Jay’s mother, Sharon Hacking, who now runs the charity, was at UCLan to meet the PhD student Inbetweenears will be sponsoring. Klaudia Rzepecka, 21, will be working with Dr Jane Alder to research ways of improving drug delivery across the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) for brain cancer treatments.

Klaudia, who was awarded a first-class honours for her degree in BSc in Biomedical Sciences at UCLan, will also be investigating how cells communicate with each other within the BBB and the brain tumour.

She said: “I am extremely excited about working with Inbetweenears – the support the charity is giving us will help us to research innovative ways to get new drugs into the brain to treat brain tumour patients. This is a great opportunity for me as I am keen to develop a career in brain cancer research.”

Sharon said: “We are very lucky that seven years on from his diagnosis, Jay is still going strong. His survival prognosis with a GBM was originally given as between 12 to 18 months. The reality is that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.

 “I dearly hope that Klaudia’s research will help lead to a greater understanding of effective ways of treating patients.”

Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “With historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research allocated to brain tumours, I am delighted that our member charity, Inbetweenears, is continuing its sponsorship of research into this devastating disease. We desperately need to bring about better outcomes for patients – from improved awareness for earlier diagnosis, to the development of more effective, personalised treatments and targeted drugs.”

For more information about Brain Tumour Research visit the website.