Why Headcase?

We set up Headcase, as most people do, because a bad thing happened to someone. That someone was Becky Speirs. There are however thousands of Becky’s out there and we wanted to do something so that other people wouldn’t have to go through what we went through during Becky’s battle against GBM. You can, if you’ve got time, read Becky’s story (and others) on our Memory Wall section.

We chose the name Headcase because we dared to be different. We wanted to stand out and shout out. We want to be different to other charities…

We want to engage people in a new way… we refuse to be bound by the ‘rules’ of how a charity should be ‘seen’ to behave… we’re not held back by the bonds that hold other charities… we believe that The Future Gets Written Today! We’re going to kick leaves (and we’re going to enjoy doing so!)… we won’t be using the H-word… we’ll publish and keep you up to date with our Research… we’ll direct your fundraising monies to where you want them to go… we’ll guarantee that no-one will ever be paid a single penny in salary from Headcase… we won’t pester you… we want you to engage with us…

Headcase is an extremely efficient Charity with over 98% of donations going directly to our Research Programmes – not many other Charities can do that. We can do this because we aren’t bound by the ‘rules’. Our Trustees and Head Fundraiser are all Professionals who dedicate their time to Headcase on an entirely voluntary basis. Don’t be fooled though into thinking that voluntary means amateur, we simply believe that every Charity should be run by Professionals on an entirely voluntary basis. It’s our way of giving back to Headcase, pure and simple.

The Last Great Cancer Battle

The Last Great Cancer Battle Will Be Fought in the Brain

When we first came across this statement we just thought it was brilliant. It still is!

However we want to change it to The Next Great Cancer Battle Will Be Fought in the Brain.

It is notoriously difficult to treat brain tumours, not least because of their location. If you think about it the only options, currently, offered by the medical profession involve a de-bulking operation followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. All of those options have the potential to damage the brain itself.

GBM, despite being removed, will inevitably grow back and quite quickly. Radiotherapy has a finite dose that can be given to the brain and the drugs simply don’t work as they are stopped by the brain’s own defence mechanism, the Blood Brain Barrier (try saying that quickly), from even reaching the brain. The ‘multiforme’ nature of GBM also makes it incredibly difficult to beat. It’s a sneaky bastard that finds ways to circumvent everything that’s thrown at it.

That said, if we didn’t think it could be beaten we wouldn’t be here, we’re not doing this just to keep ourselves busy.

GBM has a desire not to be killed that really has to be admired and respected. It really is a quite incredible thing. That’s why we’re looking at novel approaches to give it a right good kicking.

Rightly or wrongly (take your pick, doesn’t matter) money and resources have been targeted at other cancers where there is a higher chance of success, or they affect larger numbers of people, or a particular group of people. We’re not griping about that, as the work that has been done is fantastic and the successes many.

However we want to do is to raise money so that we can take the battle to GBM, right in its own backyard. We’re looking at new approaches using nano-technology to deliver agents through the BBB so they are more effective, we’re investing in immunotherapy technologies and cancer vaccines that will stimulate the body’s immune system to attack GBM. It really is cutting edge stuff – it has to be.

If you take a look at our Research Strategy then you’ll see how we’ve focussed our Research to a number of key areas where we believe that we’ll see the greatest success.

The Battle will be a long one and there will be successes and failures along the way. For example if we found something that extended average survival time to 2 years or even longer it would be incredible. To find a cure for the majority of people would be something else entirely.