I hope that you and your families have been keeping safe and staying well, and if you have been unwell, we wish you a speedy and full recovery.
COVID-19 has presented huge challenges for all of us. At the start of the lockdown in March, we had to close the majority of our research laboratories, with only a few remaining open to do critical work.
Thankfully some of our scientists have been able to continue with computational, data-driven research from home. Other colleagues have been applying their scientific skills to join the enormous global push to understand and combat the coronavirus, and our researchers who are also clinicians have been working hard on the front-line of the NHS.
But cancer has not been self-isolating during this period, so the need for our work has continued to grow. Many cancer patients are more vulnerable than ever right now, and we are also concerned that patients are facing delays in diagnosis and treatment. This all highlights the ever-growing urgency to understand cancer better and to design smarter, kinder and more effective treatments.
We are now beginning to re-open some of our laboratories, where it is safe to do so. With so much of our research brought to a standstill, this involves meticulous planning to restart disrupted experiments and resume our cutting-edge clinical trials to deliver new treatment options to patients.
We are in no doubt that our income has been impacted by the pandemic. As many of you know, fundraising events everywhere have been cancelled and we are experiencing cuts to our research funding. This period has been a setback for cancer research, but with your help, it need not damage our long-term progress to defeat this disease.
Many of you have continued to give and to raise funds for us throughout the crisis and I’m extremely grateful to you for helping us at this most difficult of times. Now more than ever, as we return to the laboratory bench, we need your support to make up for the time we have lost.
We know that cancer patients around the world are counting on us to deliver new treatments – and with your ongoing help, in the coming months we will resume our laboratory-based research with even greater resolve and dedication to making life-saving discoveries to defeat cancer.
Thank you for your generosity and stay safe.
With warmest wishes,
Professor Paul Workman, CEO