Blog posts

BNOS 2022: Where do people with primary malignant brain tumour die?


At the end of June 2022, I had the chance to present my work at the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS) Conference, in partnership with the Computational Oncology Laboratory. Now that I am back from Liverpool, where the conference took place, I thought to write quick a summary of my analysis on the end-of-life care for patients diagnosed with a primary brain tumour in England between 2013 and 2018.

Every year, 12,000 new cases of brain tumours are diagnosed in the UK, making brain tumours the 9th most common cancer. Prognosis is often inauspicious, with only 12% of patients surviving 5 years or more.

Research on end-of-life care is rare and the national picture is even rarer. We know that usually people with cancer prefer to die at home, although this is not always the case, and a high number of patients continue to die in hospital or hospices. We are interested in understanding what factors affect the location of death and if having treatment within a few months before death affect the location of death.

Poster presentation at BNOS 2022 in Liverpool

Submitting a 250-word abstract can be quite easy as we enter our name, affiliation and press the submit button. But when the BNOS committee accepted mine, this is when the real work started. This year my hard working colleagues secured oral presentations while I had fun designing a poster explaining the first line of treatment of adult glioblastoma patients in England 2013 – 2018 from the Gliocova project.

I presented this work at the BNOS conference in Liverpool in 2022, as part of the Computational Oncology Laboratory.

The cost of treating adult glioblastoma patients in England (2013-2018) – BNOS

I have just given a talk about our work at the BNOS conference in Liverpool, and thought I should write something about the work we have been doing.

The GlioCova project has data on the patient demographics, tumour demographics, and the treatments received (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and neurosurgery) of 50,000+ adult patients diagnosed with a primary brain tumour between 2013-2018. We specifically have information on the inpatient and outpatient NHS admissions in HES tables of these patients from 3 months before diagnosis (the end of 2012) and follow-up data after diagnosis (up to the end of 2019). Using this rich and detailed patient-level dataset as well as software publicly available from the NHS (HRG4+ Reference Costs Grouper), we provided comprehensive up-to-date estimations of the secondary care costs of cranial glioblastoma patients. My work was the first attempt to estimate the treatment and care costs of the commonest primary malignant brain tumour in a multi-year whole population cohort in England.


BNOS: presenting our work on post-surgical outcomes

Now that the stress of presenting our work at a conference has passed and our time in the lovely city of Liverpool is coming to an end, it is a great opportunity to go back to our work and update those of you who could not make it to BNOS this year.

Although brain tumours are rare, they are the leading cause of cancer death in under 40’s. Nonetheless, national data on patient demographics, their treatment and care as well as variation in these has not been analysed and presented. GlioCova, is a project that uses linked national data, to understand brain tumour patient care and variation in these.

Neurosurgery is a key part of brain tumour patient treatment, whether it is to cure the cancer, diagnose or improve survival. Nonetheless, it is not without risks – neurosurgery is linked with complications such as venous thrombosis or hospital-acquired infections. Our previous work looked at surgeon volume and 30-day mortality.