Cancer Research UK targets low survival rates in £1.5bn spending plan

Cancer Research UK has set out plans for how it will spend £1.5bn over the next five years to reduce cancer deaths.

The charity has announced that it will spend £300m a year especially in areas where survival rates from the disease are poor.

The money will be targeted at early detection and screening to enable doctors to diagnose and treat cancer at an earlier stage.

The charity will also establish up to 20 "centres of excellence" across the UK that will link research initiatives with patient care, public engagement and prevention initiatives. Most centres will be opened in 2009.

Cancer Research UK's public information work and public policy role will continue as part of the new strategy.

The new investment will be particularly targeted at pancreatic, oesophageal and lung cancer, which have 10-year survival rates of around 5 per cent.

"In these three cancers, there has been a degree of nihilism and even a defeatist attitude around the world, which has led to limited research activity," said Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK.

"However, these are top-10 cancers in terms of mortality in the UK and progress can and is being made. It is our responsibility to do more."

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