Main Menu

Let’s finish it: 
help us revolutionise cancer treatment

We aim to discover a new generation of cancer treatments so smart and targeted, that more patients will defeat their cancer and finish what they started. 

Make a donation

Professor Paul Workman in lab coat


"Our Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery will offer a completely new and remarkable way of working. We are excited about the opportunities it will give us to meet the challenge of cancer drug resistance head on. With further research, we can find ways to make cancer a manageable disease in the long-term and one that is more often curable, so patients can live longer and with a better quality of life.”

– Professor Paul Workman FRS

Our scientists have led the discovery and development of many targeted treatments that are helping more cancer patients live longer and with fewer side-effects. We now know that some cancers adapt to their environments within our bodies to side-step those drugs designed to halt their progress. 

We are now poised to outsmart cancer with the world’s first anti-evolution 'Darwinian' drug discovery programme, in which we will focus on understanding, anticipating and overcoming cancer evolution, and preventing drug resistance.

To deliver this pioneering drug discovery programme, we are constructing a major new research building, the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery. Here we will bring together around 300 of our leading scientists into a single collaborative space – with the aim of discovering treatments so smart and targeted that even advanced disease can be managed long-term and effectively cured. 

This Centre will pave the way for a new era of drug discovery, to help us stay one step ahead of the disease – so that cancer can be cured or patients can live a good life with cancer. Patients should not have to give up on their dreams for the future – our aim is to help them defeat their cancer and finish all the things they started.

We will overcome cancer drug resistance in innovative new ways.

In our new Centre we will have an extraordinary, multi-disciplinary mix of evolutionary experts, biologists, chemists, computational scientists and clinicians working together to overcome or redirect the whole process of cancer evolution – and deliver long-term control and effective cures, just as comparable approaches have achieved with HIV.

With your support today, we can get our new research programme off to the strongest possible start. We will be undertaking pioneering projects including:

  • Use of AI and advanced maths to ‘herd’ cancer like livestock so it is forced to adapt to one treatment by developing weaknesses against others.
  • Creating the first anti-evolution cancer drug to slow down cancer’s ability to evolve, delaying its resistance to treatment.
  • Devising innovative, multi-drug combinations to block several cancer genes at once or boost the immune system.

Our new drug discovery programme brings with it the hope that future generations will no longer fear cancer as a death sentence. That future is within our grasp – and we will look back at this time as a defining moment in our journey to defeat this disease.

Make a donation

“I take my pill every morning and I get on with my life.”

"I have seen first-hand the difference a targeted treatment can make. My cancer is currently stable – I take my pill every morning, and I get on with my life. I still cycle 3-4 times a week, which I could never have done had I been on conventional therapy. This year I cycled the Etape du Tour, completed the 365km ride from Manchester to London in a day, as well as a 600km ride from Paris to Amsterdam. I’m not stopping there though! Palbociclib allows me to live a good life with cancer – and I want all cancer patients to have this hope and optimism for the future. I hope you will support the ICR’s appeal, so more patients like me can finish what we started.”

Christine O’Connell, 46, from south-west London, was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in February 2018. She is on her 19th cycle of an innovative targeted treatment called palbociclib, which was assessed in clinical trials the ICR helped lead.

The Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery

The new Centre is an opportunity to make an historic step-change in cancer treatment, to develop a new generation of drugs that will make the difference to the lives of millions of people with cancer. Please donate today and let’s finish cancer together.