National Cancer Research Institute

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th March 2001.

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Photo of Baroness Crawley Baroness Crawley Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will set up a national cancer research institute.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

The NHS Cancer Plan of September 2000 said that the Director of NHS Research and Development and the National Cancer Director had been asked to work with all those involved in the funding and delivery of cancer research and to come forward with definitive proposals for a national cancer research institute. They have done so, and we have agreed their proposals.

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is a partnership between all the United Kingdom Health Departments, the Medical Research Council, the Cancer Research Campaign, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the Marie Curie Research Institute and the pharmaceutical industry. The greatest benefit for patients is likely to be achieved if all the main funders of cancer research work together to ensure the best use of research resources.

The NCRI will be established from 1 April. It will provide the focus for cancer research conducted across the UK, and provide strategic oversight of that research. It will take the lead in identifying where further research initiatives are indicated and are most likely to lead to progress. It will also co-ordinate research into cancer genetics in the UK.

But the NCRI will not be a single, large "bricks and mortar" facility. It will have a core staff of about six people, and total running costs of about £500,000 a year. All the partners have agreed to contribute. The details have to be worked out, but the Government are prepared to underwrite the costs in the first instance so that the NCRI can make progress without delay.

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