Our research strategy

About Yorkshire Cancer Research

Yorkshire is big and beautiful and while we have much to celebrate, sadly the lives of too many people in our region are cut short by cancer. We are dedicated to changing this.  

  • Our Vision is that people in Yorkshire will be less likely to get cancer and less likely to die from it than elsewhere in the country.
  • Our Mission is to take action today to have the biggest impact on cancer for people in Yorkshire.
  • We have the ambitious Goal of 2000 fewer cancer deaths each year in Yorkshire by 2025.
  • Research Led Innovation. We believe in research led innovation and all our charitable activities focus on delivering solutions and real benefits to the people in Yorkshire. 

We are committed to investing £100m in ground-breaking research and services, to reach the ambitious goal of saving 2000 lives every year in Yorkshire by 2025. We aim to achieve this by focusing on 3 topics:

Reducing the risk of developing cancer

37% of cancers are linked to avoidable risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol and obesity [1]. We welcome proposals that consider how we address behavioural, lifestyle and environmental factors to reduce the risk of cancer. The projects must have an interventional element, with the emphasis on solving problems rather than describing them. We are happy to receive applications from researcher/practitioner teams engaged in cycles of development and testing to create sustainable change.  

We want 32 000 people to take action to reduce their risk of cancer by 2025, of which we want 6000 people to give up smoking for at least one year.

Applications focused on the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Yorkshire (see Appendix 1) will be prioritised as those projects are the most likely to have the greatest impact.

Improving early diagnosis and cancer screening

Analysis from the NHS Long Term Plan indicates that early diagnosis will be the main contribution to 2000 fewer cancer deaths in Yorkshire.

From our own analysis, we are aiming for an additional 60 000 people to engage with at least one national screening programme and 93 000 individuals to benefit from the lung screening and CT scans.

All projects in this area should aim to diagnose more people at an earlier stage to improve survival. Survival need not be an endpoint, but for most cancers, survival at one and five years is much higher if the cancer is detected early (at stage 1) than if it is detected later. The Office for National Statistics show for many cancer types, 1-year survival is relatively high if diagnosed at stages 1 to 3, with a fall in survival if diagnosed at stage 4. Our aim is that by 2025 the 1-year survival rate in Yorkshire reaches a 78.6% average across all cancers, a shift from 72.3% currently.

Projects that address the cancers that cause the most deaths in Yorkshire (see Appendix 1) per year will be prioritised as those projects are most likely to have the greatest impact.  

We aim to fund proposals addressing the following as part of topic 2:  

  • Raising awareness and increasing earlier presentation to primary care We welcome applications testing interventions that not only raise cancer awareness, especially in underserved communities, but also result in an earlier presentation to primary care for people with potential cancer symptoms. Further, we welcome applications that aim to decrease the diagnostic interval for patients, and therefore result in an earlier diagnosis of cancer.
  • Improving pathways We welcome applications that test interventions to enhance processes within primary and secondary care to reduce the time from a person noticing symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. 
  • Increasing participation in national cancer screening programmes Addressing geographical variations in the rates of people taking part in national cancer screening programmes across Yorkshire represents an area where significant improvements can be made. We welcome applications to test interventions that can raise the level of cancer screening, especially in areas with low screening uptake rate, or target identified barriers to attending screening that can be addressed to improve participation. 
  • Testing and implementing new cancer screening methods We welcome applications focusing on the implementation of alternative screening strategies to improve current cancer screening techniques or identify new approaches that can be implemented for those cancers that are not routinely screened. However, the screening test cannot be in the developmental stage. The project may consider using existing techniques in a novel or adapted way to increase their effectiveness/sensitivity and reduce any harms associated with screening

Improving treatments

We welcome applications that test new treatments, or improve current treatments, aiming to improve survival of cancer patients. Any improvement in survival should not be at the expense of quality of life, and so all proposals should aim to measure and publish Patient Reported Outcomes.  

Our aim is to save lives. For the purposes of estimating impact on the application forms we are happy to view extending survival beyond 5 years as a ‘life saved’.  

Applications that address the most common cancers and those that cause the most deaths in Yorkshire (see Appendix 1) will be prioritised as those projects are most likely to have the greatest impact.  

To enable us to meet our Strategic Aims of:

  •  Taking action to prevent cancer in Yorkshire
  •  Funding practical, tangible, research-led activity
  •  Yorkshire people get the earliest possible diagnosis
  •  Find better treatments to improve survival in Yorkshire

Yorkshire Cancer Research is working with researchers, healthcare providers and professionals and local community initiatives to fund projects that have the goal to reduce the incidence of cancer in a given population and/or to increase cancer specific survival of cancer patients (but not at the expense of quality of life) during the course of the project. These can include improving existing practices within the health service, the introduction of novel approaches or risk stratification to identify those most likely to develop or potentially have cancer, to improve earlier detection within the population.

All projects must be testing an intervention, with the emphasis on solving problems rather than describing them. All projects are encouraged to ensure inclusion and engagement with populations often underrepresented in research such as BAME and deprived communities.   

We will fund clinical trials in any of the below topic areas from feasibility through to large multi-centre phase III trials.

Trials should attempt to recruit the majority of the study patients from Yorkshire. If this is not possible and would prevent a trial being developed due to there not being enough eligible patients in Yorkshire then applicants must:

  • Demonstrate that every effort has been made to recruit as many eligible patients from Yorkshire as possible.
  • Outline how many eligible patients there are in Yorkshire and how many the applicants aim to offer the trial to.

Further to the priorities outlined in the below topic area priority will be given to applications for clinical trials:

  • That will recruit the majority of participants, patients or the public, for the study from within Yorkshire.
  • With the largest ratio of ‘the number of people offered the trial in Yorkshire vs the number of people eligible for the trial in Yorkshire’.  

1. British Journal of Cancer

To read in full please download the Research Strategy document.

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