Home / Give To Cambridge / Cancer



  • decorative

Cancer research at Cambridge

Cambridge is one of the few places in the world that can harness the kind of innovative thinking that has led to 27 Nobel Prizes in Medicine and 25 in Chemistry — and target it at how we diagnose, manage, and ultimately cure cancer.

We have already made some of the most important and exciting developments in cancer research:

  • Discovered the structure of DNA and developed the technology (Next Generation Sequencing) to rapidly sequence the entire human genome
  • Pioneered the manufacture and use of monoclonal antibodies, a technology that now underpins routine cancer therapy globally
  • Identified numerous genetic abnormalities that drive the development and growth of multiple cancer types
  • Demonstrated that breast cancer has ten distinct subtypes, each with different drivers and prognoses
  • Invented numerous cancer drugs, including olaparib, a DNA repair inhibitor now regularly used to treat multiple types of cancer in women
  • Generated the first proof-of-principle that a simple blood test (liquid biopsy) can detect fragments of circulating tumour DNA, allowing for non-invasive, individualised snapshots of cancer development and recurrence
  • Determined the origins for two of the most common types of childhood brain tumours, and are now inventing new treatments
  • Spearheaded a revolutionary new technology called a hyperpolarised 13C-MRI, which can reveal a tumour’s response to a drug within 24 to 48 hours of treatment
  • Created a low-cost ‘cancer breathalyser’ which will determine whether volatile organic compounds from early lung cancer or other solid tumours can be found in a breath sample

Your donation will support the University’s scientists and clinicians to transform how we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, bringing hope to millions of people around the world, now and in the future.

Next steps

You can donate to support cancer research at Cambridge, or to discuss your philanthropic goals please contact:

Make a gift now

Make a gift now to support Cancer by credit or debit card, or set up a direct debit:

Give online

Or, find out about other ways to give.

Mary Jane Boland

Director of Development — Cambridge University Health Partners

Opportunities in 'Cancer'

Personalised medicine is pivotal in treating the most common cancer in women globally — breast cancer.
Ovarian cancer researchers are currently exploring closely linked themes to advance the understanding of ovarian cancer.
The Cambridge Pancreatic Cancer Centre (CPCC) aims to be a centre of multidisciplinary excellence for the translation of pancreatic cancer research.

This opportunity is part of

The School of Clinical Medicine is recognised as a leader in biomedical research, clinical education and healthcare innovation.

Related stories

Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students receive an unrivalled education. Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the generosity of its supporters. Our history is synonymous with a history of far-sighted benefaction, and the same is as true today as it has ever been.

Philanthropic impact story
The Ely City Golf Club Ladies’ teams have collectively raised over £8,500 for research in ovarian cancer at the University of Cambridge.