The research you help us fund has led to some incredible advances in how we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Since 1979, we have invested £200 million in 2,000 research projects in 35 countries around the world.
Thanks to research, cancer survival rates have doubled in the UK since the 1970s. One in two people diagnosed with cancer can now expect to survive for 10 years or more after their diagnosis. But we are nowhere near done. In 2020, it was estimated that around the world 19.3 million people were diagnosed and 9.9 million people died from cancer.
Discover how our past research is helping to save lives right now and how our current research is providing hope for the future.
Scientist: Professor Louis Vermeulen
Impact: Discovered that lithium could stop cancer cells from developing in the gut and launched a clinical trial to test it in people with bowel cancer.
How you helped: Your support allowed us to fund Professor Vermeulen to understand why cancer cells are able to outcompete healthy cells in the gut. This research led directly to the launch of a clinical trial in the Netherlands to test a new way to prevent bowel cancer from developing.Read the full story
Scientist: Professor Awen Gallimore
Impact: Started two bowel cancer clinical trials testing a new treatment approach that aims to destroy cancer cells that are left behind after surgery.
How you helped: Your support allowed us to fund Professor Gallimore to study the mechanisms that help cancer cells hide from the immune system. Her findings were key to setting up two clinical trials, which could lead to new life-saving treatments for people with bowel cancer.Read the full story
Scientist: Dr Laura Soucek
Impact: Developed a brand new cancer drug which in 2021 began being tested in patients on clinical trials. The drug, called omomyc, has the potential to treat a wide range of cancers.
How you helped: Your support allowed us to fund Dr Soucek in 2013 to test omomyc in the lab as a cancer treatment. This research was key to getting omomyc approved for clinical trials where it is being used to treat people with cancer.Read the full story
In 2020, it was estimated that around the world 19.3 million people were diagnosed and 9.9 million people died from cancer.
Scientist: Professor Steve Jackson
Impact: Discovered and developed a drug called olaparib - the first approved drug known as a PARP inhibitor. Olaparib is approved around the world for treating certain types of ovarian and breast cancer. Clinical trials are ongoing to test olaparib in many other cancer types.
How you helped: Your support allowed us to fund Professor Jackson throughout the 1990s to understand the fundamental biology of how cells repair damage to DNA. Through this research, Professor Jackson uncovered a new mechanism which was the basis for developing olaparib.
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Scientist: Professor Kevin Hiom
Impact: Discovered a gene which is now used to help accurately diagnose a rare genetic disease called Fanconi anemia - a disease that is linked to a number of developmental disabilities, as well as an increased likelihood of developing cancer
How you helped: Your support allowed us to fund Professor Hiom in 2004 to understand more about a fundamental process that keeps us healthy – DNA repair. Through this research, Professor Hiom discovered a new gene which was then found to be a genetic marker for Fanconi anemia.
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We are currently funding innovative ideas in labs across the world - ideas that are helping to start new cancer cures.
Thanks to research, cancer survival rates in the UK have doubled since the 1970s. One in two people diagnosed with cancer can now expect to survive for 10 years or more after their diagnosis.