Research investment record for Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK invested a record £213 million last year on research investigating the causes and improving the prevention and treatment of cancer.

The charity's annual spend is up by £20m from 2003 and it aims to increase its funding of world-class science by 7.5 per cent in the next financial year - according to its annual report and accounts published today.

Chief Executive Professor Alex Markham says: "Over the past year thousands of lives have been saved through improved cancer treatments, earlier detection and effective health awareness campaigns.

"We made discoveries that could transform the way cancer patients are treated in the future and uncovered vital information that should help people reduce their cancer risk.

"Making scientific progress is hugely expensive - we spent £213 million in 2003/2004. But it is more than worth the investment. The improved survival rates we are now seeing for many types of cancer are proof that cancer research delivers results."

Cancer Research UK is Europe's leading cancer charity, dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer. It supports the work of 3,000 scientists, doctors and nurses in more than 80 academic centres across the UK.

The charity is the largest single force behind progress in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment in the UK. It is also a European leader in the development of anti-cancer drugs from their discovery at the laboratory bench through to early clinical trials in cancer patients. Some of last year's pioneering research included:

  • Discovering a gene which may help solve the mystery of what triggers non-hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer; Read more...
  • Developing reliable methods for measuring blood levels of a drug used to treat the most common form of kidney cancer in children; Read more...
  • Continuing to fund the "Million Women Study" as a result of which Oxford epidemiologists last year calculated how different forms of HRT affect a woman's risk of breast cancer; Read more...
  • Investigating the potential of flexible sigmoidoscopy, a screening technique for bowel cancer, which could prevent up to 5,000 cases a year. Read more...
  • Contributing enthusiastically to the work of the National Cancer Research Network, leading to a trebling of the numbers of patients entering clinical trials in the UK. Read more...

One of our most successful fund-raising events, "Race For Life", raised more than £22 million last year. Sponsored by Tesco, the annual event attracted 300,000 women who walked, jogged or ran five kilometres to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

As well as being a world leader in research, the charity also has a responsibility to provide information and advice to the public.

It funds a team of specially trained cancer information nurses who offer a valuable, confidential and personalised service for cancer patients and their families and deal with around 1,000 enquiries each month.

The charity also funds CancerHelp UK - a user-friendly information website written by cancer experts in plain English. The website is designed to help patients and their families find answers to a wide-range of questions about cancer, from diagnosis and treatment to information about clinical trials.

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