Thank you for contacting me about cancer research and clinical trials.
I am glad that cancer survival rates have increased year-on-year over the past decade. Investment in research has been vitally important in achieving this and I recognise the important that we continue to invest properly in cancer research so that we can continue to drive up survival rates.
That is why I am pleased that over £882 million in government funding has been spent on cancer research across the UK since 2010. However, I also know that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on cancer research, in particular through reduced access to funding for new projects. Therefore, I welcome the announcement in the Spending Review 2021 that the Government will commit £5 billion over the Spending Review period for health-related research and development, this is an increase of £1.2 billion on previous commitments. I will work with colleagues at the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure this is spent to provide much-needed support for cancer researchers and help strengthen the UK's ability to improve cancer outcomes through research.
The Government funds ground-breaking medical research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Research is crucial in the fight against cancer. The Government invests £1 billion per year in health and care research through the NIHR. The NIHR expenditure on cancer research has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £132 million in 2018/19, the largest investment in a disease area.
I also recognise the indispensable contribution made by charities in driving forward research into cancer. Through the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), 21 major funders of cancer research across the UK co-ordinate their research to maximise the impact of research for cancer patients. Figures from the NCRI show that these 21 partners have together spent over £669 million on cancer research in the year 2019-2020.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.