I am proud that the UK is a world leader in cancer research, and I recognise the importance of Government investment in ensuring that we can continue to improve survival and quality of life of cancer patients.
Since 2010, over £882 million in Government funding has been spent on cancer research across the UK. Ground-breaking medical research is funded through the National Institute for Health Research, and spending on cancer research has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £138 million in 2019/20, the largest investment in a disease area.
This funding has supported research that has helped to develop new treatments and increase survival rates over the past decade in the UK.
I know that the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on cancer research, in particular, through reduced access to funding for new projects. Therefore, I welcome the announcement in the Spending Review that £5 billion will be invested in health-related research and development, which is an increase of £1.2 billion on previous commitments.
The Government's Major Conditions Strategy will provide a fresh opportunity to focus on how we can develop new treatments and diagnose cancer earlier to improve survival rates and the quality of life for everyone living with the disease.
I was encouraged to learn that the Government co-operates closely with Cancer Research UK in jointly funding Experimental Cancer Medicines Centres, a network of 18 adult centres and 11 paediatric locations across the UK. This network brings together world class health researchers and clinicians to work together to generate new approaches for beating cancer.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend Cancer Research UK’s World Cancer Day Parliamentary Drop-In event due to prior Parliamentary commitments. However, please be assured that I will read any briefing provided carefully.