Doctor with tumour rallies fight in ‘last battleground against cancer’

Tonbridge resident Dr Neil Bindemann attended the annual general meeting of the influential All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours [APPGBT].

The 53 year old is part of a team of political campaigners working with the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Neil runs the Primary Care and Community Neurology Society [P-CNS], which he set up in 2004.

He underwent urgent brain surgery in 2015 when a tumour was discovered during an MRI scan at King’s College Hospital in London.

He was diagnosed with a pineocytoma brain tumour, which led to life-threatening pressure build-up known as hydrocephalus.

A scan in 2018 showed the tumour was still growing, and Neil took the decision to start the ketogenic diet. A year later, in March, a further scan showed the growth had been halted.

The APPGBT meeting discussed how the ketogenic diet and new surgical techniques can be used to target tumour growth and also control seizures in brain tumour patients.

‘Less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed survive beyond five years, as compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers’

Neil offered his experience as part of a campaign to encourage more funding into researching the role of the ketogenic diet.

Representatives of the ketogenic dietary therapy charity Matthew’s Friends spoke about their work in supporting brain tumour patients using the diet to manage symptoms.

New surgical methods were examined too, among them a non-invasive scanning technique which allows surgeons to map the regions of the brain around a tumour so that it can be removed while sparing healthy tissue.

Also attending the event were patients, carers, researchers and representatives of other charities, including Brain Tumour Research.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet, historically, only one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to it.

Neil said: “There are currently limited options for brain tumour patients, but given my neurosciences and immunology background I am aware of a few research papers suggesting a role for diet in tackling cancer, and in particular the ketogenic diet for brain tumours, as well as developments in new surgical techniques.

“Less than 20 per cent of those diagnosed survive beyond five years, as compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers.

“It is imperative that we continue to call for greater support and action for research into what scientists are calling the last battleground against cancer.”

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