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Animal research

The Institute of Cancer Research believes that animal research is essential to understand how cancers develop and behave within a whole organism, and how to treat it effectively.

We use animal studies alongside many other experimental approaches and they are crucial in building up a complete picture of cancer biology. Our research using animals has helped drive advances in cancer treatment that are benefiting people with cancer all over the world today.

Under UK law, animals can only be used for research if there is no appropriate alternative. All our research proposals are thoroughly assessed before approval to ensure that there is no alternative to the use of animals, and that the studies will provide valuable information that will ultimately help cancer patients.

The ICR is strongly committed to the highest standards of animal welfare in all research studies, and has led the development of best practice in this area. We also support the principles of the 3Rs – replacement, refinement and reduction of use of animals for research – and are working to develop alternative experimental techniques.

We are signatories to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, and are helping to drive best practice in how we communicate about our research using animals with the public and in our scientific publications.

I’m proud of the work we do at the ICR to understand cancer and to help deliver innovative new treatments for people suffering from it. I’m also proud of the responsible way we do our animal research and how we share our experiences with other researchers and the public. Animal research plays an important role in our scientific discoveries and in providing benefits for cancer patients around the world. Professor Paul Workman, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London