Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission announces a new partnership with Children with Cancer UK to accelerate the Centre of Excellence for Children Initiative

Press Release

Published 5th April 2023

The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM) are excited to announce a new strategic partnership with Children with Cancer UK, ahead of opening applications for the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Children Programme.

Brain tumours are the most common and lethal solid tumour in children and young adults, with over 400 children in the UK diagnosed with a brain tumour every year. Survival rates have improved but brain tumours remain the greatest cancer-related cause of death in children in the UK. A key priority for these children is to facilitate access to clinical trials and to provide high quality care and rehabilitation to support them through their treatment journey.

Following the success of the Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence initiative in adults, TJBCM is extending its efforts to paediatrics. The Tessa Jowell Centre of Excellence for Children initiative aims to support paediatric neuro-oncology centres to provide excellent treatment, care and research activities for children with brain tumours and their families.

We are delighted to announce a partnership with Children with Cancer UK on this initiative. With the shared goal of improving outcomes, survival and research for children with brain tumours, TJBCM and Children with Cancer UK will work closely to roll out the Centre of Excellence for Children Programme and use the data collected to implement lasting and ongoing improvements for the treatment and care of children with brain tumours. TJBCM and Children with Cancer UK believe this partnership is crucial to the success of the programme and future programmes to provide support to all hospitals involved in the care of children with brain tumours.

Jo Elvin, CEO at Children with Cancer UK said: “Children with Cancer UK is incredibly proud to partner with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission on this pioneering work into paediatric brain cancer. We seek opportunities to collaborate with organisations which share our vision of helping children and young people in their journey and really look forward to shaping a better future for children, teenagers and young adults who are facing a brain tumour diagnosis.”

Dr Nicky Huskens, CEO at Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with and receive investment from Children with Cancer UK for this important programme. Not only will we be able to benefit from their extensive expertise in this area, but this investment will allow us to further expand the impact of programme to continue to improve equity and innovation in brain tumour research, treatment and care for children.”

Dr Steve Lowis, Centre of Excellence for Children Designation Lead said: We are delighted to have Children with Cancer UK as a new partner of TJBCM. As a charity with deep roots in clinical research and strong ties to patients and their families, they will be immensely important in advising our designation process, helping to ensure we address what is fundamental for excellent care of young people with brain tumours.”


About the Centre of Excellence for Children’s Programme

This initiative has been designed to recognise and showcase excellence in paediatric brain tumour care and uncover gaps and variation through comprehensive data collection. The programme will open for applications in May 2023 and all paediatric neuro-oncology centres in the UK will be invited to apply. Applications will consist of a self-assessment form and a patient feedback survey and centres will undergo a rigorous review process by a committee of experts.

The data gathered will be used to create bespoke solutions to address the gaps at hospital-level, regionally or nationally. To implement recommendations and solutions, each hospital will benefit from individualised support from the TJBCM team and through the Tessa Jowell Academy platform – a digital learning and networking platform. The Mission intend to launch a paediatric branch of the Tessa Jowell Academy to allow NHS staff to connect with peers and share best practice to improve their services.

About the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission

The TJBCM is a Community Interest Company which delivers a national portfolio of eight transformational programmes in the areas of brain tumour research, trials, training and patient care.

The TJBCM is supported by the Department of Health and Social Care and brings together leading clinicians, academics, and charities including Brain Tumour Research, Cancer Research UK, The Brain Tumour Charity, Brainstrust, Brain Tumour Support, The Minderoo Foundation, The Tessa Jowell Foundation, Act for Cancer and the National Cancer Research Institute, amongst others.

About Children with Cancer UK

Children with Cancer UK is a leading children’s cancer charity dedicated to raising and investing funds into vital specialist research to save the lives of children and young people with cancer. Our mission is to improve survival rates and the quality of survival in young patients, and to find ways to prevent cancer in the future. Whilst working towards this, Children with Cancer UK funds support for children and their families as they navigate treatment. What began as a small memorial charity in 1988, has evolved into a major force raising more than £300 million and investing in over 200 pioneering research projects.