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Working with others

Scientists talking informallyWe work in partnership with experts in different fields who can help us achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.
By encouraging scientists to work together and share information, we can make sure breakthroughs in cancer research continue to be made – and that those discoveries benefit as many people affected by cancer as quickly as possible.



The National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI) coordinates research and promotes programmes that ensure cancer is detected earlier.


Drug development

Our work covers every stage of drug discovery and development, from the earliest lab studies to large-scale clinical trials. Our progress is thanks to close collaboration with our many partners.


Early clinical trials

Part of our Drug Development Office’s work is to invest in promising therapies that have been 'shelved' by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

We gain access to these treatments through Clinical Development Partnerships (CDP), a joint initiative by Cancer Research UK and Cancer Research Technology.

Cancer Research Technology (CRT) is a technology development company owned by us. It helps identify promising research and transforms it into treatments, vaccines, and more effective ways to diagnose cancer.

All profits made by CRT are reinvested in Cancer Research UK to fund further research.


Late stage clinical trials

We help test new treatments before they’re made available to patients. These 'late phase' trials can involve thousands of patients and cost many millions of pounds. Where possible, we fund these trials alongside other charities, research councils, the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS.

More information on how we fund clinical trials or download our clinical trials briefsheet.


Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres

The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Network (ECMC) is a £35 million initiative supported by Cancer Research UK and the Departments of Health for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They fund 19 Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres across the UK that bring scientists, doctors and patients together to develop new ways to treat and diagnose cancer.


Cancer Research UK Centres

Our Cancer Research UK Centres help patients, professionals, fundraisers and researchers work together to beat cancer. By encouraging team work between universities, NHS Trusts, cancer networks, other charities, government and industry, they are helping us beat cancer. 



We fund five research institutes:

We also provide substantial funding to the Institute of Cancer Research in London and the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge.

The Francis Crick Institute (formerly the UKCMRI), based in London, will be a world-class centre for medical science, research and innovation. This ambitious project is funded by four of the UK’s leading biomedical research organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, UCL (University College London) and the Wellcome Trust.


Other partnerships

Cancer Research UK is a key member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI). This 'virtual' institute was formed in 2001 to bring together the UK’s major funders of cancer research. By working together, members ensure that cancer research isn’t duplicated, and that their efforts are directed where they are needed the most.

The National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) was created in 2001 to coordinate and support clinical cancer research in the UK. Since it opened, the NCRN has more than doubled the number of cancer patients taking part in clinical trials, which will help new treatments reach patients more quickly.

Browse a full list of our partnership research programmes.

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