Record science spend for Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK spent a record £217 million last year on research investigating the causes and improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The charity's annual spend on research is up by £4m from 2004/5 and it aims to increase its funding of world-class science to £350m per annum by 2010 - 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 £217 million in 2004/2005. 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, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It funds 3,415 researchers in 42 towns and cities in the UK. Future projects worth £413m have already been approved and the charity is working to raise the necessary funds for this vital work.

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 achievements included:

  • The launch of a major new clinical trial for the most common form of lung cancer;
  • The development of a computer programme which can predict genetic susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer with unprecedented accuracy;
  • A new screening test for oesophageal (food pipe) cancer which could dramatically improve survival from the disease;
  • Establishing seven Cancer Research UK Clinical Cancer Centres;
  • Funding of 83 new project grants;
  • Cancer Research Technology Ltd (the charity’s technology transfer company) increased revenue from technology developments by 17% to £21m.
  • 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 400,000 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.


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

A full copy of the annual accounts is available on request.