The Cancer Research UK Centre has awarded an £11 million investment to the University of Oxford and the Oxford-based NHS to fund cancer research and translational infrastructure.

The £11 million investment will, according to the University website, see Oxford’s “world-leading cancer research” translated into therapies for patient benefit. An additional £3 million in funding will be dedicated specifically to training and studentships over the next five years. 

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is the world’s largest independent cancer research charity and remains a key funder for cancer research. The CRUK Centre awards acknowledge high-impact UK cancer research and NHS-University collaborations. 

The £11 million award for the CRUK Oxford Centre will be overseen by Oxford Cancer, the University’s cancer research network, which aims to facilitate collaboration to ensure prompt translation from research and discovery to treatments for patients. 

Money will be invested in Oxford’s key cancer research priorities. These include developments in immune-oncology, aiming to apply novel technologies to realise the long-term curative benefits of immunotherapy; early cancer detection, with a view to achieve the NHS’ Long Term Plan target to detect 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028; cancer big data; and novel therapeutics and diagnostics.

Professor Mark Middleton, co-Director of the Oxford Cancer network, said: “This CRUK funding will knit together world class research and clinical expertise to deliver earlier, better and safer treatments. Our Centre will support and grow local partnerships with NHS organisations, such as the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Thames Valley Cancer Alliance and the Berkshire West, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups.”
The award comes as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a reduction in CRUK’s research funding by £45 million. This is on top of a £44 million cut made to current grants at the start of the pandemic.