The investment, which coincides with the charity’s 90th anniversary, will be used to develop understanding of the root causes behind Yorkshire’s cancer problems and develop strategies and initiatives that could reduce cancer incidence and mortality rates in the region.
- Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research is the UK’s largest regional medical research charity
- They exist to help the people of Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer by funding world-class research.
- Currently, they are committed to spending more than £20m to support 200 scientists carrying out vital research that matters to Yorkshire people.
- Statistics show that 554 new cases of cancer are diagnosed in Yorkshire every week.
- Incidence and mortality rates are higher in Yorkshire than the England average and survival rates are below the national average.
- Many cancers in Yorkshire are associated with an industrial past and cultural and socio-economic factors which can only be addressed through local research in the county.
- Yorkshire Cancer Research is proud of its independence and is not part of a national charity.
Over the next 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with cancer in the UK annually will double from 2 million to 4 million, which could mean 1,100 people being told they have the disease every week in Yorkshire.
According to Public Health England, premature deaths from cancer in Yorkshire are higher than the national average. If the county achieved the same outcomes as the rest of England, more than 1,000 lives could be saved every year.
The county also has below national average five year survival rates for many of the most common cancers.
Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: We are extremely excited to announce this special investment, made possible thanks to the incredible support of local people. It is a significant step forward in the development of our new research strategy to go ‘beyond the laboratory’ so we can make an even greater impact on cancer outcomes in our region.
With the number of people diagnosed with cancer continuing to increase every year, and with cancer patients living much longer than they used to, it’s vital that we use the funds we have to save more lives and improve the quality of life for people throughout the region. We are the only organisation that is solely dedicated to tackling these issues right across Yorkshire.
The charity is inviting researchers to apply for funding in five strategic impact areas, which include understanding the Yorkshire cancer landscape and health inequalities, improving education, awareness and prevention of cancer, and enhancing screening and early diagnosis methods. The charity is also seeking opportunities to increase the number of clinical trials involving novel cancer treatments, and learn more about the quality of life experienced by cancer patients in the region.
Mr Rowett continued: We need to know much more about the cancer landscape and environment in Yorkshire so we can provide a real benefit to local people. It’s incredibly important that we address regional problems in order to help more people reduce their risk of developing cancer, receive a faster diagnosis and have better access to pioneering treatments.
The move has been backed by several leading Yorkshire health professionals, including Dr Yvette Oade, Trustee for Yorkshire Cancer Research and Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who said: Cancer outcomes across Yorkshire show significant differences which may be the result of variations in cancer screening uptake, access to treatments and the availability of clinical trials. Funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research could help us understand why these variations occur and what we can do to address these issues.
For more details on the £5m investment, visit www.ycr.org.uk