Accelerate the translation of research

Through its network of cancer Centres across the UK, Cancer Research UK and its partners have created a world-leading model for the translation of new discoveries into patient benefit.

Professor David Livingston
Dana-Farber Cancer Center

Our approach

Build a world-leading translational network

Our Centres provide an excellent environment for effective translation. Supported in partnership with universities and hospitals in each location, our national network of Centres play a critical role in facilitating multidisciplinary collaboration, and they are a vital in the delivery of our strategy.

We're increasing our investment in a small number of Major Centres to build expertise that combines highly innovative laboratory research with cutting-edge experimental medicine. These Centres will act as hubs for broader collaboration across the network. We've also launched Centres Network Accelerator Awards to support greater levels of networking between locations in areas of priority.

Expand partnerships with commercial and international organisation

We are building strategic partnerships that extend beyond individual projects and assets, with industry and with other research organisations in the UK and internationally, in areas that offer the potential for greater impact and where we are able to build on mutual strengths.

Launch Grand Challenge funding to tackle the big questions in cancer research

We've launched the Grand Challenge, our most ambitious funding scheme ever. Grand Challenge aims to stimulate a greater focus on tackling important, challenging questions where there is potential for a transformational impact on the field.

Enhance our therapeutic discovery model

Our model of academic drug discovery is unique and world-leading, and we will build on our strengths by diversifying our therapeutic discovery approaches. We are investing in biotherapeutic drug discovery and have developed partnerships with industry to access appropriate technology platforms.

Support a broad portfolio of clinical research

We have a key role to play in funding trials that are not of interest to industry. Our strenghts include:

  • Surgery and radiotherapy trials
  • Investigation of optimal dosage regimens to reduce toxicity
  • Tumour types or patient populations that are not of commercial interest, such as rare or paediatric cancers
  • Chemopreventive agents, particularly those that are no longer patent protected
  • Innovtive clinical trial designs, such as multi-arm, multi-stage trials, supporting personalised medicine

We would like every cancer patient in the UK to be given the opportunity to join a clinical trial, and we will work with the NHS and other partners to help achieve this goal.

Establish new models in population, behavioural and policy research

We support innovative, multidisciplinary collaborations that bring together aspects of population, behavioural and policy research to tackle cancer. We have established a virtual centre for prevention research to facilitate greater national integration and encourage the development of future research leaders. 

Opportunities for your research

MAP Conference

We have a broad range of opportunities for academic researchers and industry partners.

Our progress

Learn more about our Research Strategy

We will build our understanding of cancer

We need to deepen our understanding of the interplay of genes, proteins and the role of the immune system in cancer development and growth.

We will facilitate a major shift in early diagnosis research

Several approaches will contribute to earlier diagnosis, from behavioural and epidemiological studies, to biomedical research for early detection. 

Tackle cancers with substantial unmet need

With survival rates that haven’t changed significantly for decades, cancers of the brain, lung, oesophagus and pancreas are notoriously difficult to treat and remain diseases of substantial unmet need.

We will develop the cancer research leaders of tomorrow

We will provide support at every career stage, attracting and inspiring the next generation, training outstanding individuals and developing and recruiting the leaders of the future. 

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