Yorkshire Cancer Research, based in Harrogate, will invest £4.3m to improve the outcomes for cancer patients in Yorkshire, it has been announced today.
Over the next five years, money raised by supporters will be ploughed into bringing clinical trials to the county and funding research projects with a clear benefit for patients across the region.
Yorkshire currently has below national average five-year survival rates for three of the four most common cancers. There are also several hot spots of the disease associated with cultural and socio-economic factors and healthcare inequalities.
The new funding marks the first stage in the charity’s renewed focus on tackling issues that are prevalent within the region and ensuring that local people have access to the best possible treatments.
Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: We are extremely pleased to announce the results of our most recent funding round. Earlier this year we made significant changes to our funding process to make sure we help the people of Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
There is over-whelming evidence to show that regions that are research-rich have better health outcomes within their communities. Yorkshire is lagging behind and Yorkshire Cancer Research, along with several other regional charities, is working to fill the gap as national charities and government continue to reduce their research expenditure in the North of England.
A large proportion of the new funding will be spent on research into bladder cancer, which is more prevalent in Yorkshire than the rest of the UK. Research into the treatment of bladder cancer is currently underfunded and survival rates have not improved since the 1980s.
The charity will continue to develop talent and train the next generation of cancer researchers through its PhD scheme, which supports postgraduates and cancer clinicians pursuing a career in cancer research – a critical area for which funding is limited, particularly in Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Cancer Research will also support the development of new treatments by helping to establish a Yorkshire-wide early clinical trials network.
Charles said: We are committed to improving access to clinical trials by providing funding to facilitate clinical studies in Yorkshire. People in Yorkshire who are diagnosed with cancer should have the opportunity to participate in trials that are happening on their doorstep. Clinical trials offer patients access to new medicines and therapies, while playing an extremely important role in driving better patient outcomes.
We are here to put Yorkshire people first. There is enormous pressure on charity fundraising at present and our donors want to see that their money is being targeted towards specific research that is relevant to Yorkshire and will save more lives in our county.