Cancer Grand Challenges: working in partnership with the Dutch Cancer Society

We’re partnering with the Dutch Cancer Society to fund the PRECISION Cancer Grand Challenges team, who are carrying out ground-breaking research aimed at preventing unnecessary breast cancer treatment.

Funded via the first round of our Cancer Grand Challenges initiative – our ambitious international funding scheme intended to transform the cancer research field – the PRECISION Team is made up of researchers based in the Netherlands, UK and USA. The team is jointly funded by Cancer Research UK and the Dutch Cancer Society, a first-of-its-kind collaboration.

Why we formed this partnership

Forged in 2016, this international partnership between two of the world’s leading cancer charities allowed us to pool our resources to fund ambitious, large-scale research that may not have been possible otherwise.

The research

The PRECISION Team’s research is setting out to address a major gap in our understanding of breast cancer. They are looking to be able to predict whether individual women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – a condition that can sometimes develop into breast cancer – will go on to need cancer treatment in the future. At present, doctors can’t tell whether women with DCIS will go on to develop breast cancer, leading to many women undergoing cancer treatment unnecessarily. But by finding a way to identify which cases of DCIS will become cancerous and which won’t, the PRECISION Team’s research could save thousands of women the unnecessary stress and anxiety of cancer treatment when they don’t need it.

How we operate

CRUK and the Dutch Cancer Society are partners supporting the PRECISION team. We provide equal financial resource and work together to support and review the team’s progress at regular intervals. This collaborative approach extends to co-branding, reflecting each organisation’s role as an equal partner in supporting the PRECISION Team’s work and our shared commitment to defeating cancer through the best research.

Our progress

The research funded through this partnership is helping to advance our understanding of how to distinguish between lethal and non-lethal cancers, and bring forward an era of personalised cancer care.

Further rounds of Cancer Grand Challenges are ongoing and new co-funding opportunities continue to arise. We’re keen to collaborate with other organisations who are interested in supporting the ground-breaking research we’re looking to fund through this scheme. Please contact us if your organisation is interested in exploring potential collaboration opportunities in this area.

Our research partnerships

We partner with like-minded organisations from across the academic, not-for-profit, government and private sectors to deliver mutually beneficial collaborations, from large-scale co-funding of projects and infrastructure to joint workshops and conferences.

​The Dutch Cancer Society

Dutch Cancer Society

​The Dutch Cancer Society – KWF Kankerbestrijding – is a fundraising charity supporting cancer research in the Netherlands.

Contact us

If your organisation is interested in partnering with CRUK to support the Cancer Grand Challenges initiative, please contact

Rachael Barber, Senior Partnerships ManagerRachael Barber

Head of Strategic Partnerships (Non-Commercial)

+44 (0) 20 3469 6907