Cancer Research UK has saved millions of lives by discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, and survival has doubled over the past 40 years.
We support groundbreaking science that benefits everyone. Find out below how our heroic scientists, doctors and nurses have helped changed the picture for cancer patients in the UK and beyond.
It is thanks to the ongoing generosity and hard work of our supporters that we can continue to make groundbreaking developments such as these.
Some of the progress we've made in the last decade
- 2002 - Cancer Research UK was formed from the merger of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign, joining forces to beat cancer.
- 2003 - We funded a clinical trial showing that adding chemotherapy to radiotherapy can help improve survival from medulloblastoma, the most common type of brain tumour in children.
- 2004 - We funded the largest ever trial for people with operable pancreatic cancer, showing that giving chemotherapy after surgery could help reduce the risk of the disease returning or delay it. This has resulted in a worldwide change in the way that pancreatic cancer is treated, helping to extend the lives of patients.
- 2005 - Cancer Research UK funded scientists help to develop a type of drug called a PARP inhibitor. These drugs are now being tested in clinical trials for women with breast and ovarian cancer who have faulty BRCA genes.
- 2006 - A network of Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres was opened across the UK - funded by Cancer Research UK and the Departments of Health in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The ECMCs are designed to get new cancer treatments into clinical trials in patients as quickly as possible.
- 2007- Using the latest techniques, our researchers uncovered new genes involved in breast and bowel cancer. Later on, new genes for brain, lung and prostate cancer we also revealed.
- 2008 - Our researchers showed that some bowel cancers may be due to rogue stem cells, pointing towards new ways to tackle the disease.
- 2009 - Cancer Research UK scientists discovered a molecular "flag" that can predict survival from prostate cancer. This could be developed into a future test to help doctors decide on the best treatment for men with the disease.
- 2010 - Our scientists discovered that a one-off five minute screening test could prevent one third of bowel cancers and save thousands of lives.
- 2011 - Following promising results in large-scale clinical trials, abiraterone (Zytiga), a new drug for advanced prostate cancer that we helped to develop, was licensed in the UK.
- 2012 - Results from a major clinical trial run by our scientists show that a new type of ‘smart drug’ can boost survival and save lives for people with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Our other progress and achievements
Cancer Research UK's history and impact stretches back over a century. Find out more about the progress and achievements we've made over the years.