Theresa May revealed £75m research fund into Prostate cancer
Today the Prime Minister will make the biggest prostate cancer funding announcement we have seen – a move researchers hope will make a significant contribution in the fight to stop prostate cancer taking lives.
During a visit to a hospital in Cambridgeshire, Theresa May will promise an investment of £75 million into research focused on getting men diagnosed earlier and faster. The research plan, backed by this investment, will investigate innovative new treatments and will involve recruiting 40,000 men to take part in prostate cancer studies over the next five years.
The new studies will particularly target higher risk groups including black men – one in four of whom will develop the disease – as well as men aged 50 or over and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
Over 40,000 patients will be recruited for more than 60 studies in prostate cancer, to test treatments including more precise radiotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound and cryotherapy, alongside supportive interventions including exercise and dietary advice.
Testament to years of dedication and hard work
The news follows several months of unprecedented media focus on prostate cancer that began with our announcement in February that prostate cancer is now a bigger killer than breast cancer. Keeping the disease in the public eye has surely contributed to this announcement. It is also a testament to years of dedication and hard work from our supporters, researchers and staff to shine a light on the magnitude of the problem and develop a strategy to stop prostate cancer killing men.
So can we sit back and put our feet up now? Definitely not. We are hugely encouraged to see recognition of the huge issue that prostate cancer is and a commitment to action from the Department of Health. But while this is a significant sum that will move things forward, it’s not enough on its own.
In our strategy Ten Years to Tame Prostate Cancer, launched in 2016, we set out our ambition to halve the number of expected deaths from prostate cancer by 2026. Thanks to our supporters we have been able to step up investment into research for better diagnosis, better treatment and better prevention, as well as campaigning for better support for men.
Our strategy set out plans for investing £120 million into research, raised through the generosity of our supporters, which would complement the government’s existing research spending. It is great to see this new announcement from the Prime Minister, but it comes after decades of underfunding and we still have a long way to go before we can match the advances seen in other cancers. We’ll continue to see one man dying every 45 minutes from prostate cancer unless we all come together to support vital research.
With research, long-term support is crucial. We have been working towards early diagnosis for many years, for example our work on mpMRI. We funded early-stage research into this advanced form of MRI scan to show the potential for improving diagnosis, which led to a £2 million government-funded trial. This technology is now being rolled out across the country and is a great example of how charity and government funding can work well together.Published: by Radio NewsHub