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  • What have we done to Cross Cancer Out ahead of the General Election? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    sure that cancer isn t seen as a done deal and remains high on the political agenda We ve been focusing on two things that we think politicians should make a priority And as you can read in these guest posts from four of our Ambassadors these priorities diagnosing people earlier and making sure they re offered the best possible treatments whether radiotherapy surgery or cancer drugs when appropriate are really important to those affected by cancer too By tackling all these issues together politicians can make sure cancer patients have the best chance of survival and that s the message we wanted to share with all election candidates So how have we done it A big day out Our Ambassadors in Westminster for Parliament Day 2014 It all started back in July We launched the campaign with the biggest day of political action Cancer Research UK has ever seen More than 100 of our dedicated Cancer Campaign Ambassadors came to Westminster where we met more than 210 MPs across the whole day We wanted to tell politicians what they can do to beat cancer sooner read what happened here Since then nearly 11 000 of our supporters have shared their personal stories with their election candidates showing how cancer affects every family across the UK and explaining why beating cancer should be a priority for them if they get elected into the next Parliament Going local We ve also been taking our campaigning into the community Armed with local statistics and our key campaign messages our Ambassadors have been having face to face meetings with candidates attending important local meetings where members of the public can ask candidates questions about issues of concern in their local area and importantly hear their responses This has ensured our General Election campaign has stayed at the front of potential MPs minds The shop visit series Numerous election candidates have visited their local Cancer Research UK shop They have been meeting some of our fantastic shop volunteers and finding out about our campaign and what they can do in their local area to help those affected by cancer if they re elected These visits were targeted at the real battleground areas for election campaigning where it s unclear who will win the seat This meant we could speak with all the different parties In total we saw 26 candidates visiting 11 shops across the country Visiting our shops Our science up close To help people understand the work we do it s best to show them And tours of our research centres have been a key part of our work connecting MPs who may not know about our research with our scientists in the lab near them With the opening of the Francis Crick Institute next year this is something we hope to do a lot more of over the next five years a great opportunity for MPs to don a lab coat and hear first hand from researchers about their life saving

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/05/06/what-have-we-done-to-cross-cancer-out-ahead-of-the-general-election/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Election 2015: What does the result mean for cancer? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    is certainly true of a key area for us the Department of Health Jeremy Hunt remains Health Secretary while Jane Ellison has been reappointed as Public Health Minister both were instrumental in the successful passage of standardised tobacco packaging earlier this year You can read about the key moments in our campaign for standard packs here The Conservative s manifesto stated their ambition for the UK to become a world leader in fighting cancer They have pledged to support the independent Cancer Taskforce on the development and implementation of the new cancer strategy which our Chief Executive Harpal Kumar is chairing independently This is expected to be published later this year And they have given their support to the Innovative Medicines and Medical Technology Review which is exploring how to make sure patients are offered the innovative medicines and medical technology that they need It s also likely that funding will still go into the Cancer Drugs Fund and in so called genetic medicine You can read the Conservatives commitments in full along with those of the other parties here Throughout the last parliament the Conservatives championed the benefits of medical research and the life sciences and their potential to boost economic recovery But there are big spending cuts that have to be made and apart from three protected areas the NHS schools and international aid all departments are vulnerable In particular we ll be looking closely at what happens with the science budget and ensuring we do all we can to maintain funding for science over the forthcoming years We will also continue to encourage MPs to prioritise efforts to diagnose cancer early make sure all patients are offered the treatments they need and keep supporting public awareness campaigns and screening key elements of our Cross Cancer Out campaign You can read what we were asking election candidates to get behind and how our 16 500 campaign supporters helped convince 750 candidates to support us here And what about the opposition As for the Labour Party Andy Burnham is back in post as Labour s shadow health secretary and a number of former Labour health ministers are still in their previous roles We will also continue to work closely with Opposition MPs as this can often be crucial in shifting the debate on issues of importance to us This could be particularly important given the slender Government majority The emergence of the SNP as a new political force with 56 out of 59 Scottish seats means that we are likely to see more conversations about further transfer of powers to the devolved nations We ll be working to increase survival for cancer patients from all parts of the UK You can see what the SNP proposed for cancer and research along with the other parties from the devolved nations here So what next We ll be building new relationships shoring up existing ones and looking to influence policy at a key time in the political cycle At the same

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/05/13/election-2015-what-does-the-result-mean-for-cancer/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Keeping it local – A CLeaR commitment to tobacco control - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    creates opportunities to identify and share best practice among peers something recognised by the 70 or so authorities that have already signed up Speaking at the awards ceremony Martin Dockrell head of the Tobacco Control Programme at PHE said that CLeaR draws a picture of tobacco control and how it should be Recipients of this year s awards were not short of praise for CLeaR s tangible benefits Hertfordshire County Council was the overall winner for its work on reducing smoking in its area as well as on tackling the illicit trade of cigarettes Its director of public health Jim McManus said the process pinpointed our strengths and usefully identified opportunities to consider for improvement The review was instrumental in helping us get every NHS agency in Hertfordshire to sign up to a new NHS plan for smoking including making smoking cessation in mental health settings a priority So CLeaR has done the job for us In aiming for today s youth to grow up free from tobacco Durham County Council was recognised for its successes in reducing local smoking rates as well as its work with NHS trusts in supporting smokefree environments Bristol was recognised for its leadership in bringing in strong smokefree policies and as a result of taking part Bexley who won the award for Results will launch its tobacco control alliance next week But there are benefits beyond tobacco control Many authorities have told us that the collaboration it encourages can also help to tackle other significant health challenges such as alcohol misuse and obesity which are also accountable for a number of preventable cancers Looking to the future There s clearly a lot of top class activity going on around the country in tackling tobacco So job done Far from it there are still huge challenges ahead We ve set a bold ambition for a tobacco free future within the next 20 years where less than five per cent of the UK s adult population are hooked on a product which kills up to two thirds of its long term users A tobacco free society relies on local authorities striving for tobacco free communities and this means making tobacco control a priority in their public health strategies So alongside CLeaR there are other initiatives helping local councils to focus their efforts By signing up to the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control endorsed by the Chief Medical Officer many councils have shown their commitment not only to clamp down on smoking but also to protect public health from the pernicious influence of the tobacco industry It s a commitment we hope many more local councils will make Counting the costs Earlier this year we released a report Taking a Reading which explored the impact of the health reforms that moved tobacco control funding from the NHS to local authorities It was generally a positive picture however there were warning signs about the impact of future Government cuts to services We ll be repeating the study

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/07/10/keeping-it-local-a-clear-commitment-to-tobacco-control/ (2016-02-11)
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  • How to make the NHS a research powerhouse - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    cancer services over recent decades So it s really important that research continues to be a part of routine care for cancer patients Every patient should have the opportunity to take part in research so that their experience can contribute to the collective understanding of the disease But how much is this aspiration translating into a reality for patients today To find out we commissioned a new report from academics at the University of Birmingham No time for research Our new report Every Patient a Research Patient looks at how well NHS is promoting research and highlights best practice from across the system which could improve research activity for those not performing so well By examining case studies of hospitals that are good at research the report found that leadership from senior managers in hospitals as well as clinical research nurses are important to achieving more clinical research Allowing more departments and individuals within hospitals time to think about research will naturally bring about a more supportive culture Yet the report s authors raise concern about how much time clinicians are able to commit to research Last year we found that NHS cancer services were stretched to breaking point and that it was still struggling to find its feet following the recent reforms Commenting at the time our chief clinician Professor Peter Johnson said We re seeing ever increasing patient numbers and more complex treatment pathways but the other resources we have remain static and in real terms have even declined slightly We re having to do more with less It turns out that this pressure has had a knock on effect mounting pressures coupled with the lack of available skilled and experienced workforce are taking its toll In order to continue to improve cancer patient survival the system not only needs to be able to meet the needs of research today but also be able to carry out new forms of research in the future So what needs to be done To address the immediate resource issues the report recommends several things Firstly that investment in National Institute of Health Research NIHR and other infrastructure should be maintained by Government in upcoming spending decisions Second the various bodies responsible for paying for NHS services should work together to produce a research strategy This would help ensure that all parts of the NHS are working together to give patients the opportunity to take part in research The report also calls for a more sophisticated way to measure success in research activity at the moment the NHS just measures a hospital s success at research by the number of trials or patients it recruits But this is outdated clinical research will continue to become more specialised as it focuses on targeted treatments for smaller groups of patients Instead the report suggests we should be rewarding doctors and hospitals that take on complex trials something which the UK excels at and that will pave the way for future medicine Finally it calls

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/05/19/how-to-make-the-nhs-a-research-powerhouse/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Four reasons why the Government needs to keep spending money on science - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    year View the interactive timeline here 2 Science is good for the economy As well as benefiting patients investing in UK science also boosts the UK economy something we ve blogged about before We also know that science and innovation are important for getting the most out of the economy called productivity And the Government recently recognised this For example between 2000 and 2008 more than half of productivity growth in the UK was due to science and innovation High productivity is a good thing and means that we are working more efficiently and getting more out of what we put into the economy And science plays a big part in that 3 Our scientific research is world class Spotlight on the Spending Review As well as protecting science we also want the Government to invest money so that it can act on the recommendations set out in England s new cancer strategy And we have written to the Chancellor to tell him where investment is required This ranges from protecting tobacco control services to upgrading radiotherapy machines if it helps prevent cancer or improves services we ve told him about it One area we re really pushing on is for more investment to help diagnose cancers earlier You can support our campaign by signing our petition and using testcancersooner on social media The UK ranks an impressive 2 nd in the world for the quality of its scientific research And the Government needs to protect our global reputation The more the UK is known for its research the more investment and talent it will attract supporting further success This is really important to our work at Cancer Research UK The UK s reputation has been instrumental in the creation of the new Francis Crick Institute a joint venture involving charitable organisations universities and government funded teams It has attracted 1 200 of the world s best scientists who will work together to tackle cancer and other diseases improving the lives of patients across the world 4 It supports universities and hospitals When the UK Government invests in science it helps us and industry invest in important research happening in UK universities and hospitals It also helps us to support the training of our scientists and doctors A report commissioned by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills estimated that every extra 1 the Government invests in science would lead to an increase in private funding industry and charity of between 1 13 and 1 60 Another valuable return on investment There s also the Charity Research Support Fund which pays for overhead costs such general lab maintenance and computer support which are not covered by charities In 2014 the Government provided 198 million through this fund supporting charities to spend a staggering 805 million on research in English universities Financial help to universities creates a supportive environment in which they can continue to research innovate and help us beat cancer sooner The Government s investment in research carried out

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/09/08/four-reasons-why-the-government-needs-to-keep-spending-money-on-science/ (2016-02-11)
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  • A new campaign to safeguard personal data use in research - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    personal data use in research A new campaign to safeguard personal data use in research Category Science blog December 5 2014 Catherine Guinard The European Parliament in Strasbourg When issues really matter it is vital to stand up and make sure your voice is heard loud and clear And today that s what we and our partners in Europe and the UK are doing in response to the EU s proposed Data Protection Regulation Back at the start of the year we wrote about how the European Parliament was considering new regulations that could harm research by limiting the way researchers access people s personal data This sort of data is the life blood of research From growing our understanding of disease to securing a better grasp of how societies work personal data accessed by researchers carrying out ethically approved research is crucial for making life better for all of us every day So the proposed regulations were something we found very worrying indeed This week the Council of Ministers the part of the EU Parliament made up of representatives from national governments agreed on a particular part of the draft law that marks an important and positive new departure for research In contrast to the European Parliament s position the Council s changes maintain an original balanced approach proposed by another part of the EU the European Commission The Commission s proposal exempted researchers from having to ask consent when they used personal data The Council of Ministers new proposal also acknowledges the vital role of safeguards in protecting people s privacy when data are used in research But although this is an improvement it s not enough there s still a long way to go to make these regulations work for researchers and ultimately the public We say researchers must be allowed to continue to use personal data in the same way they do today But there s confusion and misunderstanding about personal data and research and these issues need to be addressed That s why we alongside our partners in the UK and across Europe have decided that the time has come to set the story straight on personal data Setting the record straight on personal data Our new campaign has been developed in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust British Heart Foundation Science Europe European Public Health Alliance and the European Patients Forum It launches today and gets to the heart of the issue on the proposed Data Protection Regulation We give voice to the patients who have benefited from research using personal data as well as to the researchers whose game changing work would be compromised For example here s what cancer survivor Richard Stevens has to say on the matter And here s Professor Michel Coleman from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who s work on cancer survival rates relies on analysing patient data The campaign will also clarify some of the techy concepts associated with the issue and we ve compiled

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/12/05/a-new-campaign-to-safeguard-personal-data-use-in-research/ (2016-02-11)
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  • European data laws – where privacy meets progress in research - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    all sectors from telecoms through to research Its impetus comes from a widespread concern that existing rules don t go far enough in protecting peoples personal information for example when they go online Of course protecting privacy is a priority we all share And we ve already expressed serious concerns about what certain parts of this bill might mean for research Now it seems some of these concerns have been heard Last week the latest round of changes to the bill emerged and we re really pleased with the outcome So what s changed Finding a place for research The European Commission the institution responsible for drafting new laws in Europe proposed the legislation back in 2012 This draft was then passed to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers made up of EU country representatives for approval The original bill suggested consent should always be given before personal data is used which makes a lot of sense But it also contained a key exemption to protect certain types of research This was because access to people s data for research is already very tightly regulated Personal data can only be handled by trained researchers who have contractual obligations to keep data safe And in the UK ethics committees ensure personal data use is appropriate and secure So a carefully worded clause in the EU bill meant researchers weren t obliged to seek people s consent as these safeguards are already in place But problems surfaced when the bill went to the European Parliament where members voted to scrap this exemption We weren t happy But just last week the Council of Ministers published an update on the European Commission s proposal Crucially they have backed the Commission s original exemption for research which is fantastic news They also emphasised the value of safeguarding research a very important addition We must now ensure the final Regulation strikes the right balance between protecting privacy while allowing vital research to continue For this to happen it s vital the exemption that protects research is included in the final text Sharing data Getting consent from patients to use their personal data is a vital part of research and more often than not researchers will seek consent from individuals That said introducing a legal obligation to seek consent could create real problems for research studies Let s take the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition EPIC a pan European study that Cancer Research UK part funds for example EPIC is an invaluable study that examines the link between cancer and lifestyle factors like obesity and involves half a million people across 10 European countries all of whom already gave consent when they signed up for the study in the 1990s The EPIC data is now a treasure trove for researchers and is frequently used to make new discoveries So imagine the cost and time spent tracing all those people to ask for consent all over again if researchers wanted to use these

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/06/24/european-data-laws-where-privacy-meets-progress-in-research/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Proposed cuts to Europe’s research budget – why we’re fighting back - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Proposed cuts to Europe s research budget why we re fighting back Proposed cuts to Europe s research budget why we re fighting back Category Science blog May 18 2015 Catherine Guinard Cancer research is a long game The process of developing ideas conducting experiments and analysing the results takes years And translating these results into new tests or treatments for patients takes more time still Yet we know it s time and money well spent Research is at the heart of everything we do And we know that research today will benefit cancer patients in the future We don t receive any government funding for our research but the Governments both here in the UK and in the European Union do provide money that is vital for the UK to be one of the best places in the world to conduct cancer research So it s important to protect that investment But potential cuts to how some research in the EU is funded threaten to undermine this as we ll explore below Putting progress at risk Because research needs time it requires funding that is both long term and consistent Horizon 2020 the European Union s 80million seven year research programme looked to answer both these demands when it was introduced in 2012 It was a slice of the EU budget pie dedicated to boosting research combined with a plan of how this money would be spent Europe s health research community including Cancer Research UK welcomed the initiative which aimed to support world class science encourage innovation and make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together to carry out innovative research Back in late 2014 the European Commission the EU body that initiates new laws tabled a new growth and jobs plan called the European Fund for Strategic Investment or EFSI The plan would reduce the Horizon 2020 budget by 2 7 billion which equates to 3 5 per cent of the whole programme A huge threat to science funding Although the European Commission said that it intended for the money cut from the budget to be channelled back into research there is no formal obligation for this to happen By taking money from Horizon 2020 the EFSI presents a real danger that less EU funding will be available for research putting at risk the very life blood of Europe s progress on research and health And we think that s a huge concern Defending the interests of patients In recent months Europe s research community including Cancer Research UK has joined forces to demand that Horizon 2020 be left untouched allowing the programme to deliver what it set out to achieve And we re making progress The European Parliament which was invited to comment on the Commission s proposal has already shown it s on the side of public health by opposing cuts

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/05/18/proposed-cuts-to-europes-research-budget-why-were-fighting-back/ (2016-02-11)
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