Together we will beat cancer


This year has been as busy as ever and we’ve made great progress made in all aspects of our work, from lab research to clinical trials and policy to prevention. Here are some of our key successes in a couple of handy interactive timelines.

January to June:

July to December:

Text version below:

This year has been as busy as ever and we’ve made great progress made in all aspects of our work, from lab research to clinical trials and policy to prevention. Here are some of our key successes. Click here to view in an interactive timeline.











  • We Stand Up To Cancer, with a celebrity-packed show on Channel 4 and fundraising activities around the country, raising a staggering £8 million that could fund up to 15 clinical trials to bring new treatments to people with cancer.
  • Our scientists in Leicester and London investigate whether a simple blood test could spot the earliest signs of breast cancer more accurately than current screening techniques.
  • We launch an important new clinical trial for children and adults with a type of muscle cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, aiming to improve survival for people whose cancer has come back after treatment.
  • Researchers at our Beatson Institute in Glasgow make the intriguing discovery that breast cancer cells spread by ‘digging’ into nearby tissues and crawling into the spaces. This detailed lab research helps us understand how cancer spreads and how we could stop it.
  • Our researchers in Bristol find that comparing levels of a certain protein could predict whether a person’s bowel cancer is likely to respond to treatment with a particular type of drug.
  • We launch our first ‘citizen science’ cancer project, CellSlider, allowing anyone to help our scientists spot cancerous cells on their home computer with just a few clicks of a mouse.
  • Our scientists show that combining digital images of breast tumours with genetic information can give a more accurate picture of how a cancer will behave, which could lead to more effective treatment in the future.
  • Scientists at our Cambridge Research Institute discover new types of early cells in mammary (breast) glands, uncovering clues to the origins of different breast cancer and revealing potential new drug targets.
  • Fantastic news for cancer patients as the Government listens to our Voice For Radiotherapy campaign and announces a £15 million fund to enable people in England to get the latest radiotherapy techniques and a commitment that all patients would receive the treatment they need from April 2013. But we think much more needs to happen to make these good intentions a reality for everyone.
  • The results of the independent breast screening review, commissioned by the National Cancer Director and Cancer Research UK, show that as well as saving lives, the current breast screening programme also brings a risk of overdiagnosis – women being diagnosed with a slow-growing cancer that would not have caused them a problem in their lifetime. The review highlights the need for research to help increase the benefits and minimise the risks from breast screening in the future.




Kat Arney February 6, 2013

Hi Christine,

We’d like to apologise for this – it is never our intention to upset anyone so we’re concerned to hear about your experience. The regular support you give is vital and we really do appreciate it. If you’d like to take this further, please do call our supporter services on 0300 123 1022 or email them on and they will be able to advise so this doesn’t happen in the future.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and thank you for your support for our work.

Best wishes,

Christine A Devereaux February 5, 2013

Fantastic work as usual BUT..Not impressed by the phone call I have just had from Cancer research I’m afraid. Regular donator, asked for more money…fair enough I knew that was coming and it has to be done. Told no, on maternity leave and plan to do lots of fundraising this year. Still carried on regardless with various facts to make me feel guilty, asked for a bit less money, again said no, AGAIN ignored and given more facts etc to make me feel guilty. After the 3rd time I unfortunately got annoyed and ended up putting the phone down. After losing a 24year old sibling to this disease I do not them expect to be ignored or made to feel guilty when speaking to the charity I am supporting and have done for several years. A real shame.

Kat Arney January 4, 2013

Thanks so much for your support, John!
Best wishes,

John January 3, 2013

Astonishing and amazing work,will try my utmost to partake in a sponsored marathon this year! goodluck with research this year