Cancer Research UK and Our Future Health

Our Future Health | 20.01.22

Tell us what Cancer Research UK does?

I’m Dr Alexis Webb and I’m a Research Programme Manager in the Prevention and Early Detection Team at Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

Cancer Research UK is the largest fundraising medical research charity in the world, and we fund almost 50% of all non-commercial cancer research in the UK, primarily through public donations.

We support researchers across the UK in our Institutes and Centres, as well as through response mode grants through our funding Committees.

Why is what you do so important?

Cancer Research UK has the ambition to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured and is working to improve cancer survival to 3 in 4 by 2034.

We will achieve this through our 4 research strategy pillars of understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat, and through influencing government policies, such as increasing the NHS cancer workforce.

What impact could Our Future Health have on detecting, preventing and treating cancer?

Collecting a large number of samples from a diverse population of individuals across the UK, and particularly multiple samples over time, that are linked with health records and other data, would create an outstanding resource platform for CRUK’s researchers to investigate.

From research we know that many cancers are caused by preventable risk factors, such as smoking, but we also need to do more research to understand the underlying biology of cancer that can help us prevent it. We also know that when cancers are detected earlier, when they are smaller and localised, treatment is often kinder to patients and more people are likely to survive their cancers.

The Our Future Health programme has the potential to support research into the early signs and signals of cancer, understanding how cancers develop and how to detect and diagnose them earlier. CRUK is happy to support the pilot phase of the study and looks forward to seeing how recruitment of participants progresses.

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