Yorkshire Cancer Research Invest £4.5m to Improve Cancer Treatment in Sheffield

14 February 2017

CANCER patients in Sheffield are set to benefit from the latest innovations in treatment and care due to a multi-million pound research programme from Yorkshire Cancer Research. 

The charity will join forces with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a ground breaking collaboration that will combine pioneering scientific and technological developments with initiatives designed to improve cancer outcomes in the region.

The £4.5m investment will fund the appointment of 10 of the UK’s most promising researchers and cancer specialists, whose expertise will further reinforce Sheffield as one of the best centres in the country for patient-focused cancer research. 

Their appointments will  build on the international  reputation of the Weston Park Cancer Clinical Trials Centre and bring together clinicians and researchers across the city in the fight against cancer.

The programme, led by Robert Coleman, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Sheffield, will focus on four key strategic areas: 

•    developing and testing new ways to diagnose and assess lung cancer;
•    carrying out innovative clinical trials;
•    improving the health and wellbeing of patients living with and beyond cancer;
•    and addressing health inequalities by improving early diagnosis and access to treatment. 

The appointments will be made over the next three years and each project will run for five years. The research will involve thousands of patients living in the South Yorkshire area, and the funding is expected to attract further investment into cancer research in Sheffield. 

“This major investment by Yorkshire Cancer Research means that Sheffield can continue to pioneer new treatments to give cancer patients a brighter future,” said Professor Coleman.

“Cancer will affect one in two of us in our lifetime, but our ground breaking research means that patients in our region benefit from revolutionary treatments.”

An estimated 18,235 people in Sheffield are currently living with or beyond cancer. This number is expected to increase to 28,450 people by 2030, meaning significantly more people will need access to the best treatment and long-term care 1

Sheffield is one of the highest ranked deprived local authorities in the country, and cancer outcomes tend to be worse in areas of high deprivation. The reasons behind this include higher levels of unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, poor knowledge and awareness of symptoms, and barriers in access to healthcare.

Lung cancer incidence rates in Sheffield are higher than the national average, with 103 cases per 100,000 people diagnosed in Sheffield compared to 78 in England 2. 89% of lung cancers are caused by smoking or other preventable factors 3

The number of preventable, premature deaths from all cancers in Sheffield is also higher than the national average. There were 90 preventable deaths per 100,000 people under the age of 75 in Sheffield during 2013-15 compared to 81 in England 4

The investment is part of a 10 year strategy announced last year by Yorkshire Cancer Research to ensure 2,000 more people living in Yorkshire survive cancer every year by 2025.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Interim Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are incredibly proud to be able to fund this unique programme of research in Sheffield. We are excited to be working with our region’s leading cancer experts to improve the lives of people living in South Yorkshire.

“At Yorkshire Cancer Research we believe every single person in every community in and around Yorkshire should have the very best chance of living a long and healthy life with, without and beyond cancer. We are incredibly grateful to all our supporters for making this investment possible.”

Professor Chris Newman, Faculty Director of Research at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this major strategic partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research. This generous funding will help us to attract the next generation of world class cancer researchers to Sheffield.  

“Working alongside our senior consultants and academics, these new researchers will accelerate our programmes to develop and implement new treatments to benefit patients in our region but of course also more widely.”

Dr Trish Fisher, Clinical Director at Weston Park Cancer Centre said: “The ability to offer many of our patients the chance to be part of cutting edge clinical trials, that can not only improve their cancer outcomes, but also pave the way for advancements in cancer treatments, is one of the reasons that Weston Park is a leading UK cancer centre.

“We are delighted to receive this funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research, and to be working in partnership with the University of Sheffield to increase further our research capabilities to the benefit of our patients.”




1.    Local Cancer Intelligence, Cancer Prevalence, http://lci.cancertoolkit.co.uk/Prevalence 
2.    CancerData, Incidence, http://cancerdata.nhs.uk/incidence, Accessed [January 2017].
3.    Parkin, Boyd and Walker, The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010, British Journal of Cancer 2011, 105: S1-S81.
4.    Public Health England, Public Health Outcomes Framework, Healthcare and premature mortality, http://www.phoutcomes.info/public-health-outcomes-framework#page/0/gid/1000044/pat/6/par/E12000003/ati/102/are/E08000016


Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: nikki@ycr.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independen regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 575 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
    • Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.
  • For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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