Our research in Edinburgh

A building at the University of Edinburgh that forms part of Cancer Research UK's Scotland Centre

In Edinburgh

  • Around 5,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • 57% of cancers are diagnosed early.
  • We spent over £7m on life-saving research in 2022/23.

We receive no government funding for our research. Our life-saving work relies on the money you give us.

We spent over £8 million last year in Edinburgh, funding researchers working on new ways to prevent, diagnose and cure cancer.  We work closely with our partners at The University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, focusing particularly on bowel, brain and women’s cancers – including breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer – turning new discoveries into better treatments for patients.

Edinburgh was previously home to our Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, but now forms part of our Cancer Research UK Scotland Centre, delivering world-leading research that accelerates the transition of lab-based discovery to the clinic for the benefit of people affected by cancer. 

How we’ve made a difference so far

  • Edinburgh drug discovery scientists recently pioneered a potentially new way of delivering chemotherapy more precisely to tumours.
  • The pivotal breast cancer clinical trial that led to global marketing authorisation of the drug lapatinib was run from our Edinburgh Centre.
  • We supported research in Edinburgh that led to the identification of a unique population of ovarian cancer patients and helped develop a new personalised medicine approach to these ovarian cancer patients.
  • Our researchers in Edinburgh discovered two important molecules that help cancer cells cheat death. Understanding how to manipulate these molecules could help our scientists find new ways to effectively destroy cancer cells and lead to life saving treatments.