Our research in Edinburgh

We spent over £9 million last year in Edinburgh, funding researchers working on new ways to prevent, diagnose and cure cancer.  We work closely with our partners at The University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian, focusing particularly on bowel, brain and women’s cancers – including breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer – turning new discoveries into better treatments for patients.

Edinburgh was previously home to our Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, but now forms part of our Cancer Research UK Scotland Centre, delivering world-leading research that accelerates the transition of lab-based discovery to the clinic for the benefit of people affected by cancer. 

Clinical trial hopes to fight prostate cancer

Edinburgh patient

Keith was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012 and is part of a clinical study called STAMPEDE, looking at hormone therapy in combination with other treatments as a way to treat prostate cancer.

What we are doing now

Our researchers in Edinburgh have everything they need to tackle cancer. From the best equipment to plenty of people to collaborate with, they are breaking new ground every day.

For example, Professor David Cameron is running important clinical trials to find the best way to treat people with breast cancer.

Professor Malcolm Dunlop is studying the faulty genes that underpin bowel cancer, to understand how our genes influence the risk of developing the disease and the chances of surviving it.

Dr Steve Pollard and his team are developing potential new treatments for the most common type of brain tumour in adults, known as glioblastoma multiforme.

How we’ve made a difference so far

  • Edinburgh drug discovery scientists recently pioneered a potentially new way of delivering chemotherapy more precisely to tumours.
  • The pivotal breast cancer clinical trial that led to global marketing authorisation of the drug lapatinib was run from our Edinburgh Centre.
  • We supported research in Edinburgh that led to the identification of a unique population of ovarian cancer patients and helped develop a new personalised medicine approach to these ovarian cancer patients.
  • Our researchers in Edinburgh discovered two important molecules that help cancer cells cheat death. Understanding how to manipulate these molecules could help our scientists find new ways to effectively destroy cancer cells and lead to life saving treatments.

In Edinburgh

  • 4,600 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • 58% of bowel, breast and lung cancers are diagnosed early.
  • We spent over £9m on life-saving research in 2020/21.

We receive no government funding for our research. Our life-saving work relies on the money you give us.

Cancer news

Cancer cells

From cutting edge science and debunking myths to patient stories, read the latest news, analysis and opinion on our news site.

Our strategy to beat cancer

Male scientist with gloves on

For the past 120 years, we’ve been making discoveries that have saved countless lives. But we have so much more to do. Our strategy sets out how we'll accelerate progress towards a better future.