Cancer Research UK doubles research funding

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK funded a record £315m of research last year. The milestone marks nearly a doubling in research funding since the Charity was formed five years ago, according to its annual report and accounts published today (Friday 14 September 2007).

The Charity's annual spend on research investigating the causes and improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, increased by £64m (26 per cent) on the previous year, making Cancer Research UK the largest single independent funder of cancer research in Europe.

Chief Executive, Harpal Kumar, said: "Over the past year thousands of lives have been saved through improved cancer treatments, earlier detection and effective health awareness campaigns.

"Over the coming year, we will review two hard-to-treat cancers, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer, to identify research that may help to prevent, diagnose or treat these diseases in the future.

"The process of scientific research is hugely expensive 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 dedicated to research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of every type of cancer. It funds over 4,250 research scientists, doctors and nurses throughout the UK. The charity aims to increase its research expenditure to £400m by 2010 to continue this vital work.

Some of last year's achievements included:

  • The development of ten goals for 2020 setting out how the Charity hopes to transform the face of cancer with its partners.
  • The opening of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute, dedicated to leading-edge cancer research from studying the biology of cancer to testing new treatments with patients in clinical trials at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
  • Securing Government commitment to a new Cancer Reform Strategy to plan the future of cancer care.
  • Awarding funding for 98 new research projects; working on the development of 30 potential new treatments; and supporting 33 new Phase III clinical trials.
  • The publishing of two ground-breaking Charity-funded studies revealing new information on breast and bowel cancer genetics. This new technology works out how minute, naturally occurring differences in DNA - single nucleotide polymorphisms or 'SNPs' - can increase susceptibility to developing cancer.
  • Playing a key role internationally by expanding its technology transfer company - Cancer Research Technology - in the United States and Australia; funding tobacco control work in Africa jointly with the American Cancer Society; and funding a number of international research collaborations including a study across 37 countries to examine the best drug treatments for breast cancer.

The high level of success was made possible by strong fundraising efforts. The Charity's flagship Race for Life women-only series of 5km runs saw 740,000 women participating and raising £59m - an event unmatched in the UK charity sector. More than a third of the research funding came from legacies left to the charity and over half came from small gifts and regular donations.

ENDS

For more information, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 7061 8300 or, out of hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264059.

Notes to Editor

  • Cancer Research UK was formed in 2002 from the merger of the Cancer Research Campaign and Imperial Cancer Research Fund. When the charity was formed it was spending around £160m per annum on research.
  • A full copy of the Annual Report and Accounts is available on request.
  • The Charity's Annual Review, Annual Report and Accounts and Scientific Yearbook are available in electronic formats at: www.cancerresearchuk.org.
  • The cancer information nurses can be contacted free on 0808 800 4040 (Mon - Fri: 9am -5pm) or visit www.cancerhelp.org.uk.