More research

Without a doubt, we have made substantial progress in understanding, preventing and treating cancer. The figures speak for themselves: in the 1970s, only 1 in 4 people in the UK survived their cancer for 10 years or more. Now it’s 2 in 4.

Lord Simon Stevens
Chair, Cancer Research UK

But the more progress we make, the more we understand the scale of the challenge. In this country, our growing and ageing population means the number of families affected by cancer is certain to increase. And worldwide, more than 18 million people are now diagnosed with the disease each year. So we must – and we will – go further, faster.

Fortunately, we have never known as much about cancer biology as we do now. We have the research tools to do in hours things that used to take weeks or months. We stand on the cusp of a new wave of profound scientific advances in how we understand, prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

As the world’s biggest charitable funder of cancer research, Cancer Research UK is uniquely positioned to turn your support into serious scientific, clinical and human impact. We work on a significant scale, funding the best science and most brilliant scientists, and bringing them together to make discoveries that will transform lives.

Through our More Research, Less Cancer fundraising campaign, together we can make giant strides towards our vision of a world where everybody lives longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. But getting there will require extraordinary support. On behalf of our scientists, clinicians and, above all, families affected by cancer, thank you for your exceptional leadership and generosity.

More research today

will mean less cancer tomorrow.

We stand on the brink of discoveries that will transform how we understand – and overcome – cancer and many other diseases. Discoveries that have the power to give millions of people more time with their loved ones.

But to make these discoveries, we need global coordination. We need scientists to work together across disciplines. We need constant technological innovation and new pathways for translation. And we need radical thinkers who are determined to accelerate progress

Through the More Research, Less Cancer fundraising campaign, we will raise £400m and 120 high value legacy pledges to:

Since the mid-1980s, more than a million lives have been saved from cancer in the UK thanks to advances in the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.*

With your support, we can save the next million lives.


Credit: David Vintiner

Credit: David Vintiner

More science

The Francis Crick Institute in London is purpose-built for discovery without boundaries. A place where more than 1,500 scientists from different disciplines work together to understand more about human health and disease. A place where the barriers between academia, healthcare and industry are dissolved, and where skilled creative teams work in open spaces that connect open minds.

The institute has become a destination of choice for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, who come from 70 countries across the globe. And we give them the funds to explore the biggest questions, the facilities to innovate and the freedom to think big and do more.

Huge wins so far include the success of the TRACERx project, the world’s largest long-term lung cancer study, which has already revealed crucial links with air pollution and suggested that a simple blood test could predict cancer’s return. Meanwhile, another team has drawn on neurology, biology and bioinformatics to turn the clock back on motor neurone disease and identify the molecular events that set it in motion.

More discovery

Credit: Steve Potvin (modified by Cancer Research UK)

Credit: Steve Potvin (modified by Cancer Research UK)

Less disease

The Crick was set up to do science differently. With your support, we can take it to the next level, allowing researchers to take an even longer-term view and unlock knowledge that will save lives.

Find out more on our website

“At the Crick, we have the ambition, the scientists and the multidisciplinary, collaborative culture to make the step-changes
in biomedical discovery that
humanity needs.”

Paul Nurse,
Director, Francis Crick Institute

Credit: David Vintiner

Credit: David Vintiner

More translation and innovation

Making discoveries is what we do. But each discovery we make, paper we publish, laboratory innovation we achieve and question we answer is only as important as the life-saving and life-changing tests and treatments it generates.

We need more innovation and more translation of research across the board, for all types of cancer. And we can’t rely on the market alone to drive this progress, especially when it comes to less commercially attractive areas, such as childhood cancers, rare brain tumours and making existing treatments kinder.

This is where we play a critical role, nurturing innovative ideas, accelerating them into interventions that will benefit people with cancer and creating a stronger pipeline from the lab to the clinic.

We bring together life science organisations, investors and researchers to accelerate progress. And with our focus solely on beating cancer, we can judge an idea on the impact it could make and the lives it could save, not on the money it could make.

To date, we’ve funded 60 start-ups, brought 11 new cancer drugs to market, built an innovation arm as big as a medium-sized biotech firm and developed the intellectual property that earns the royalties to fund even more research.

With your support, we can take new risks that could lead to even bigger rewards.

Can we develop more targeted therapies to tackle childhood cancers?

Can we develop early detection devices to spot more cancers sooner?

Could those devices be saving lives within a decade, or less?

We can’t say for sure. But for the sake of millions of futures, we must try.

Find out more on our website

With your help we can take risks...

... that can lead to even bigger rewards

Credit: David Vintiner

Credit: David Vintiner

More leaders

Supporting future leaders at Cancer Research UK means finding and funding the best researchers from every background at a crucial, early stage in their careers. And making sure they receive the right training and mentoring to reach their potential.

But the demands on young scientists are tough. Some never get the chance to embark on a career in research. Some reach a critical juncture where they have to choose between work and family. Some might reach a midpoint in their career and find themselves cut adrift from a funding pipeline.

To date, we’ve invested millions into the careers of young researchers. We’ve designed and refined a programme to support the brightest science stars through their careers. We’ve improved funding for clinical researchers. And we’ve partnered with others to address inequalities in medical training.

Many of the researchers we funded early in their careers have gone on to become leaders in their fields. With your support, we can find and fund the research leaders of the future.

Help our brightest stars progress and shine...

Many years ago, we supported Professor Julian Downward to undertake a PhD. The discoveries he made during this time overturned widely held ideas about what causes cancer, which triggered a wave of research that ultimately led to the development of 11 new cancer drugs.

Thirty years later, we’re still funding Professor Downward and his lab continues to make new discoveries that evolve our understanding. Meanwhile, the scientists he’s trained are making waves in their own fields of cancer research – including Professor Charles Swanton, our Chief Clinician, who has revolutionised our understanding of lung cancer.

... to inspire scientists across the world

Find out more on our website

Professor Julian Downward as a PhD student

Professor Julian Downward as a PhD student

“It really was a ‘Eureka!’ moment – our own cells contained molecules that accelerated cancer growth. It may have taken years for our findings to be translated into drugs to treat people with cancer, but even then we knew it was significant. I’m excited to see what we can do when we combine the talent of the cancer research community across the globe with the incredible ongoing generosity of our donors.”

Professor Julian Downward

More grand challenges

There are complex and long-standing challenges in cancer research that no one team or institution can tackle alone. Questions that, if answered, could lead to a step-change in how we understand and treat the disease.

Cancer Grand Challenges, which we co-founded with the National Cancer Institute in the US, unites the world’s brightest minds across disciplines and geographic borders to take on these challenges and answer these questions.

Through the initiative, we’re building an exceptional global community of researchers, patient advocates and partners. Already, it has empowered 16 teams drawn from 92 research institutes across 16 countries to start finding answers to 13 of cancer’s toughest challenges. In March 2024, Cancer Grand Challenges announced five new teams who will be taking on four of these challenges - Cancer inequities, Early-onset cancers, Solid tumours in children and T-cell receptors. 

More questions...

... more answers

Find out more on our website

Breaking boundaries in science

Cancer is a universal challenge, posing tough, complex problems to researchers, clinicians and people living with the disease. Solving these problems demands tenacity, creativity and worldwide collaboration. Our teams rise above the boundaries of geography and discipline to take these challenges on and propel our understanding of cancer to new places.



North America:



SAMBAI | STORMing Cancer



With your support we can take on more challenges. Like understanding how the community of microorganisms in the gut affects the development of bowel cancer and how it responds to treatment. And discovering what causes cachexia, the wasting condition that many people with advanced cancer develop.

Each challenge is a big ask – and an even bigger breakthrough in the making.

Less cancer

Cancer research is progressing at pace. Rapid advances in genomic sequencing? The CRISPR revolution? Harnessing the as-yet untapped potential of AI and machine learning? They’re all making the extraordinary possible. What was science fiction only five years ago is rapidly becoming science fact.

But too many people still die from the disease. Thousands of children still don’t live long enough to become teenagers. Mums, dads, uncles, aunts and grandparents leave their families bereft too early, too often.

Together, we can save and improve lives.

The more you can help today...

Credit: David Vintiner

Credit: David Vintiner

... the more we can achieve tomorrow

Your support means more people living with cancer, not dying from it.

Your support means more treatments, more therapies, more hope.

Your support means more research.

And more research means less cancer .

Join our community of visionary philanthropists, advocates and ambassadors who are determined to leave a legacy for future generations.

There are many ways to be involved. Meet with us, join us at an event or visit one of our institutes.

To find out more:

email: [email protected]