Our strategy to beat cancer

A male scientist in the lab with a nurse and fundraising volunteers behind him.

We exist to beat cancer

For the past 120 years, we’ve been making discoveries that save lives. But we have so much more to do as cancer remains one of the world's greatest health challenges.

Our strategy renews our focus on making discoveries, driving progress and bringing hope to those affected by cancer.

Read our strategy

Our vision for a better future

We want to bring about a world where everybody can lead longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer.

A world where:

  • Some types of cancer are effectively eliminated  
  • Many more are prevented from developing in the first place 
  • People who do develop cancer are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage so they can be successfully treated  
  • Treatments are more effective, kinder and more targeted, so people can lead better, more fulfilling lives  
  • Everyone shares in this progress equally, regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what type of cancer they have  

This strategy offers the one thing we all seek: hope. Hope that the more we discover about the causes of cancer, the more this can be used to prevent it. Hope that discoveries will also lead to a better understanding of how cancer affects our bodies, leading to a better quality of life. Hope that more people will be able to live well with the disease where a cure is not yet an option. Most importantly, it gives us hope that these discoveries will lead to more options for more of us. 

From our patient representatives - Ally Boyle, Patrick McGuire, Angela Polanco and Claire James

How we'll achieve our vision

Harnessing the power of discovery

female scientist

Every new discovery we make about cancer brings us closer to beating it. Our world-leading network of researchers is brilliantly placed to transform our understanding of cancer, unlocking new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat it. We’ll put discovery at the heart of everything we do, seeking out insights across all types of research and encouraging ever greater collaboration between disciplines.  

Accelerating progress for everyone

scientists in lab

Despite advances in research, improvements in cancer outcomes are still unacceptably slow. We need to drive progress much faster. We'll match the latest advances from academia with the commercial, technical and investment expertise needed to progress them from lab to clinic, improve the adoption and implementation of new innovations, and use our influence to make sure the benefits of research are shared by everyone. 

Working together to bring hope

An image of two women smiling

As the world’s largest charitable funder of cancer research, we are at the forefront of the global fight against the disease. We’ll inspire millions to join with us in our mission, and increase the scale, breadth and impact of our partnerships to make greater progress than we could alone – bringing hope to people affected by cancer everywhere. 


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A word from Michelle Mitchell OBE our Chief Executive Officer

An image of the CEO Michelle

We’re optimistic as we look to the next chapter for Cancer Research UK. We recognise that we are at a moment of huge opportunity in terms of our ability to understand cancer and find ways to beat it. New ways of thinking about cancer, new technologies and growing global networks have transformed what’s possible. If we seize this moment, we can bring about a future where everybody lives longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. 


Building on our research successes

Our research strategy sets out our scientific priorities and how we will work with our world-class research community to achieve our ambitions.

We’re incredibly proud of the work our research community has done since we set out our last strategy in 2014. And now, as our understanding has grown and technologies advanced, we can build on what’s been achieved to refresh our approach and ask new questions.

Ways to support our strategy