Cancer Research UK funding tops half a billion pounds

Cancer Research UK raised £540m in fundraising income in the last financial year, an increase of 2 per cent over the previous year, in one of its most successful fundraising years so far.

This increase was in part thanks to more money raised from legacy donations, Race for Life and Stand Up To Cancer, which all raised more than the previous year.  And an additional £2m was raised via Facebook charitable giving, an innovative new fundraising platform that launched towards the end of the year.

Total income for the year was £672m, an increase of 6% on the previous year, which includes fundraising income as well as £125m income from charitable activities – the largest amount ever received, which will be reinvested in research.

Key achievements outlined in Cancer Research UK’s annual report and accounts,  include:

  • Securing a strong commitment to early cancer diagnosis in the NHS Long Term Plan.
  • Three new international Grand Challenge teams awarded £20m each over the next five years, to solve long-standing mysteries in cancer research
  • Launching the Cancer Research UK City of London Centre, a £14m investment to create a world-leading cancer therapeutics research hub.
  • Launching a new Brain Tumour Award funding scheme, to accelerate progress in research on brain tumours.

Full press release at Cancer Research UK

Cervical Cancer statistics

Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that in 2015 there were around 2,500 new cases, and nearly 700 deaths attributable to cervical cancer, in England. The overall age standardised incidence rate has been declining since the 1990s, however incidence is increasing in younger women.

Cervical cancer is 99.8% preventable through the cervical screening and the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programmes. A cervical screen collects cells from the cervix to be tested for abnormalities. In 2019, primary HPV testing will also be introduced as part of the screening process.

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Most cases of cervical cancer are linked to HPV and the vaccine, currently offered by the NHS for free to girls aged 12 and 13 in UK schools, protects against the most of the virus strains responsible. The national HPV vaccination programme has successfully reduced infections of HPV type 16/18 in 16-21 year old women by 80%.

Full detail at Cancer Research UK

Campaigns

Clinical trial launches to develop breath test for multiple cancers

Cancer Research UK | January 2019 |Clinical trial launches to develop breath test for multiple cancers

A breath test that has the potential to identify cancers is being trialled by Cancer Research. The trial is a collaboration between CRUK and Owlstone Medical to test their breathalyzer Breath Biopsy® technology which will be the first to test across multiple cancer types.  

This cancer breath test has the  potential to provide a non-invasive look into what’s happening in the body and could help to find cancer early, when treatment is more likely to be effective.  The researchers in the trial will collect samples from 1,500 people, during a ten minute test, this will also include breath samples from healthy people to act as trial controls, to analyse volatile orgnaic compounds (VOCs) in the breath to see if they can detect signals of different cancer types. The study will begin with people with suspected oesophageal and stomach cancers, before expanding to include prostate, kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic cancers over the next few months.

The trial is recruiting patients to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge who have been referred from their GP with these specific types of suspected cancer.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, lead trial investigator at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre said: “Through this clinical trial we hope to find signatures in breath needed to detect cancers earlier – it’s the crucial next step in developing this technology. Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy® technology is the first to test across multiple cancer types, potentially paving the way for a universal breath test.”

Recognising the importance of early detection in improving cancer survival, Cancer Research UK has made research into this area one of its top priorities and will invest more than £20 million a year in early detection research by 2019 (Source: Cancer Research UK).

Read the press release in its entirety at Cancer Research UK

In the news:

BBC News Is a breath test key to detecting cancer?

Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes

Cancer Research UK|November 2018 |Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes: the future demand for cancer workforce in England

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has published Securing a cancer workforce for the best outcomes: the future demand for cancer workforce in England, this document comes in response 

CRUK
Image source: cancerresearchuk.org

To successfully anticipate workforce needs in cancer, it is essential to consider both how
many patients are expected to be diagnosed and treated in the future, and the likely areas in which cancer services will change. As such CRUK wanted to explore the future demand for staff in more depth, to demonstrate how this approach could be taken in a long-term plan for the workforce. CRUK  wanted this to highlight the scale of increase required to meet the future needs of cancer patients, as well as consider what impact potential changes in services could have on staffing requirements in the NHS. CRUK commissioned 2020 Delivery to develop the model that we used to generate these estimates (Source: CRUK). 

The document argues that:

  • A demand-led approach is needed;
  • staff numbers may need to double to meet demand;
  • changes in the NHS will need even more staff;
  • a long term plan for the workforce (is needed)

Read the full publication at CRUK

Obesity set to become the biggest preventable cause of cancer for females

Cancer Research UK |September 2018| When could overweight and obesity overtake smoking as the biggest cause of cancer in the UK?  

Cancer Research UK report that overweight and obesity are on track to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer in UK women in around a quarter of a century, if current trends continue as projected. 

 

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Image source: cancerresearchuk.org

The study is the first attempt to quantify and compare the future smoking- and overweight and obesity attributable cancer burdens.  Cancer Research UK projects that smoking and overweight and obesity could cause 20,000 more cancer cases by 2035 than the 75000 cases in 2015.  In seventeen years’ time  one-tenth of cancers in women (around 25,000 cases) could be caused by smoking and just less than one-tenth (around 23,000 cases)  attributed to excess weight.

 

 

 

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, said:

“Obesity is a huge public health threat right now, and it will only get worse if nothing is done. The UK Government must build on the lessons of smoking prevention to reduce the number of weight-related cancers by making it easier to keep a healthy weight and protect children, as those who are overweight are five times more likely to be so as an adult.

The report has been released to coincide with the launch of the charity’s UK-wide campaign to increase awareness that obesity is a cause of cancer (Source: Cancer Research UK).

Cancer Research UK [Press release] Obesity could overtake smoking as biggest preventable cause of cancer in women

Cancer Research UK  [Report] When could overweight and obesity overtake smoking as the biggest cause of cancer in the UK?   

See also: OnMedica Obesity as cause of cancer set to overtake smoking

Advancing Care, Advancing Years: Improving Cancer Treatment and Care for an Ageing Population 

Cancer Research UK | June 2018 | Advancing Care, Advancing Years: Improving Cancer Treatment and Care for an Ageing Population 

A new report presents the findings of  research commissioned by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and conducted by the University of Birmingham’s Health Services Management Centre and ICF International, which sought to understand the specific needs of older patients, and to explore the process of clinical decision-making for older people with cancer across the UK.

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This research involved a literature review, clinical observations at eight case study sites, interviews with 15 national decision-makers and 80 health professionals, and three UK-wide surveys (of primary care professionals, secondary care professionals and older people affected by cancer). The direction of the research was also informed by engagement with a group of older people affected by cancer, and by extensive engagement and interviews with national policymakers.

This research involved a literature review, clinical observations at eight case study sites, interviews with 15 national decision-makers and 80 health professionals, and three UK-wide surveys (of primary care professionals, secondary care professionals and older people affected by cancer). The direction of the research was also informed by engagement with a group of older people affected by cancer, and by extensive engagement and interviews with national policymakers.

The report is available from CRUK 

Trial to test new treatment combination for children and adults with Leukemia

University of Birmingham | June 2018 | Trial to test new treatment combination for children and adults with Leukaemia

A clinical trial testing a new treatment combination in patients with leukaemia launches through the Combinations Alliance, a joint initiative between Cancer Research UK and the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) Network based at University of Birmingham.

Researchers want to discover whether pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and MSD’s experimental medicine, selumetinib (AZD6244, ARRY-142886), can be effective in combination with a treatment, dexamethasone, already used for several conditions including leukaemia.

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This clinical trial, the first of its kind to include both adults and children is based at the  Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham. This trial is planned to open in 23 centres throughout the UK and in 11 additional centres in 6 European countries, to help recruit 42 patients.

Professor Josef Vormoor, international clinical lead for the trial, said: ‘Although there are effective treatments for leukaemia, for some patients, the disease can return after they have been treated. If this combination is successful, it could give us an urgently needed new way to treat patients who have relapsed and have few treatment options left.’ (Source:University of Birmingham)

The full press release can be read at the University of Birmingham’s website 
Further details on the clinical trial are available from Cancer Research