Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre

  • Print


Childhood brain cancer at the Queen's Medical Centre

Prior to the establishment of the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC) the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham demonstrated their commitment to childhood brain tumours with the opening of the UKs first paediatric neuroscience ward in the 1980s. From that moment onwards the QMC and The University of Nottingham have continued to be UK leaders in the field through raising awareness, research, and innovative treatment of the disease.

Raising awareness

From its inception the CBTRC has worked with others to raise awareness in society of the devastating condition that is childhood brain cancer...


The CBTRC is established as part of the University's Golden Jubilee Development Campaign as a result of a proposal put forward from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The proposal was born out of the publicity surrounding the desperate need for an improvement in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of brain tumours in children.

Samantha Dickson passes away as a result of a childhood brain tumour. The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust (SDBTT) is established. 


The CBTRC and SDBTT receives funding for the Pathways Project, which aims to use speed of diagnosis as a strategy to improve the quality of care of patients by raising awareness, reducing disability rates, enhancing survival rates and increasing resources.

Sue Farrington-Smith, Aunt of Alison Phelan who died of a brain tumour, establishes Ali's Dream and lobbies MPs to form an All Party Parliamentary Group to discuss brain tumours. The Group was set up in 2005 and consists of 43 MPs from different parties and the House of Lords. The CBTRC participates in the meetings.


The CBTRC publishes the text book Brain and Spinal Tumors of Childhood.

      Brain and Spinal Tumors of Childhood 



The Lancet Oncology publishes the CBTRC's meta-analysis work, which arose as a result of the Pathways I Project. 

The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust commits funds to the Pathways II Project.

The Department of Health backs Pathways II.


The experience of a child named Alfie Morland who died of a brain tumour in 2007 is reported in the media. His case is presented in Parliament as evidence of the problems in the diagnosis of childhood brain tumours. The Morelands saw 30 healtchare professionals, including several paediatricians, over two months before the diagnosis.


The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health publishes its guideline for speeding diagnosis on their website.




The University receives £392,000 for the launch of a Pathways public awareness campaign and associated decision support website ─ £372,000 from The Health Foundation and £16,000 from the SDBTT.