Research Spend On Cancer Doubles Within A Decade

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Partners of the UK's National Cancer Research institute (NCRI) have nearly doubled their spend on cancer research in the last ten years.

Partners of the UK’s National Cancer Research institute (NCRI) have nearly doubled their spend on cancer research in the last ten years.

A statement from the NCRI explained that spending on cancer research in 2010 exceeded 558 million Euros, compared with less than 288 million Euros in 2002. In particular, research has increased in the areas of pancreas, lung and oesophagus cancers, which are associated with the poorest rates of survival. Compared with 2002, more than four times as much money is now being spent on oesophageal cancer, and more than three times as much on cancers of the lung and pancreas. Usually, these cancers comprise a smaller share of overall cancer spend. However, Dr Jane Cope, director of the NCRI explained in a statement: “Because the portfolio has grown overall, it has been possible for research in some cancers to be boosted without having to cut back in other successful areas of research.”

Around 40% of cancer research spend goes towards basic research, which aims to understand the biology of cancer, and a quarter is spent directly on treatment-related research. Overall, around 60% of the research is relevant to all types of cancer.

Cope added: It’s the NCRI’s job to ask where there are gaps in funding and to ensure the big questions in cancer research are being addressed. The most funded cancers have remained at the top of the table, but this report is evidence that our partners and the researchers they support are spotting those research needs and starting to plug the gaps.”


During the last decade, the NCRI believes that its research has contributed to the global fight against cancer by helping to advance new tools to detect cancer such as PET imaging, as well as new treatments such as herceptin for breast cancer. However, it also adds that growth in cancer spend may not be as high in the coming years because of the current financial climate."Whatever the income, NCRI partners will continue to give priority to areas with the greatest research need,” said Cope.