Our role in beating cancer globally
Our global impact
Cancer Research UK funds research in 39 countries.
- We have helped develop 8 of the world’s top 10 cancer drugs
- We have proven the link between tobacco and cancer
- We have shown the value of screening and early detection
Together, we will bring forward the day when all cancers are cured
Our global work
We’re the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research, investing over $400 million each year across prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
We do this because cancer is a global issue. The burden worldwide is on the rise, with 19.3 million new cases diagnosed in 2020 globally and 29.5 million new cases projected for 2040. We believe that by collaborating with global partners, we will bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
Our work to reduce global cancer burden with our partners includes:
- Working with civil societies and research institutes around the world to grow a policy evidence base which can be used to call for regional, national or local change that will prevent cancer incidence in low- and middle- income countries
- Supporting world-class cancer research that brings together the best minds from around the globe to tackle cancer’s biggest challenges
- Partnering with and learning from organisations and government agencies within Europe who share our mission of beating cancer sooner
- Collaborating across multiple disciplines and continents to research and improve differences in outcomes for people with cancer
CRUK support for a combination of a local think tank and a specialist international partner is having real impact. Achieving policy change in Nepal isn't easy, but through locally tailored research and advocacy this year my organisation, NDRI, helped achieve a 25% increase in excise tax on cigarettes. With CRUK's support, NDRI has become a leading local voice in tackling the tobacco pandemic in Nepal.
What are we doing to tackle cancer globally?
We identify global variances in cancer rates to improve policy
To answer why cancer patients from certain countries tend to have better health outcomes than others, the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) quantifies international variances in cancer survival, incidence and mortality across high-income countries and explores the critical health system factors that influence these variations. These insights provide evidence for country-specific policy change for better patient outcomes.
We support teams to fight the toughest challenges in cancer research
In 2020, we partnered with the US National Cancer Institute to launch Cancer Grand Challenges: a global community of diverse teams uniting to drive radical progress against cancer. The initiative builds on the success of our Grand Challenge, which launched in 2015 and currently supports 7 world-class teams across 9 countries with transformational awards.
We work to implement tobacco control measures in LMICs
We help develop global clinical trials for people with rare cancers
The International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI) supports disease-focused working groups to boost the progress of new treatments for patients with rare cancers. The initiative aim to maximise international collaboration to facilitate the progress and impact of rare cancer trials. IRCI is a joint initiative with participation from UK, Europe, USA, Australia and Japan, providing a unique platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
We accelerate global research into the early detection of cancers
We have partnered with 5 world-leading centres across the UK and US to launch the International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) programme. This £55 million collaboration will tackle some of the biggest challenges in early detection, an important but underserved area of clinical need. By sharing expertise, we will develop new tools to revolutionise early detection technologies, as well as support current research to improve survival outcomes across the globe.
We work to improve access and uptake of HPV vaccines in LMICs
As part of our International Cancer Prevention programme, we are committed to reducing cervical cancer incidence in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). We are working to achieve this by generating evidence and campaigning tools to support policymakers’ and advocates’ efforts to establish nationwide HPV vaccination programmes and secure high levels of uptake.