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Why do we fund medical research?

28 July 2017

AMRC Infographic

We know that ovarian cancer is deadly. That it takes the lives of too many women. And we’re on a mission to stop these women dying before their time. At the heart of this mission is the real action we’re taking – and we want to say thank you for taking action too. Your support is invaluable.

Libby van den Bosch, our Digital Communications Assistant, examines how the research you help us fund is making a real difference to the lives of women.

Ovarian Cancer Action belongs to The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), the membership organisation of the leading medical and health research charities in the UK. Their short video about charity-funded research explains the five ways in which donations can have an impact:

How does our research make a difference?

1.      Generating new knowledge

  • We founded the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre in 2006; the UK’s first dedicated ovarian cancer research centre
  • We seek out the best researchers from across the globe and bring them together to share ideas. We foster talent
  • Our international forum, HHMT, brings together the brightest and best ovarian cancer specialists to collaborate, debate and agree on priorities for the future of ovarian cancer research. So far HHMT has seen 55 international collaborations
  • Last year these priorities were published in Nature Reviews Cancer, which has since been cited over 30 times by other academics

2.      Translating ideas into new products and services

  • We support work across the spectrum from prevention and early diagnosis, to surgery and treatment, to survivorship
  • The centre has demonstrated that stopping the activity of specific enzymes in cancer cells can both prevent tumour growth and make tumours sensitive to chemotherapy. These enzymes can be controlled by new compounds that could go on to be a drug
  • Professor Ahmed Ahmed at Oxford University has received an award for his discovery of SOX2 – a discovery which he hopes could lead to a potential screening tool
  • The work of the centre has led to higher recruitment to clinical trials, meaning more patients gaining access to new and potentially better treatment

3.      Influencing government policy

  • In October this year we will launch a new 'Acting on BRCA' policy document
  • We’re campaigning for better access to drugs and clinical trials in Wales, where ovarian cancer mortality rates are the highest in the UK. Last year we became a member of the Wales Cancer Alliance, working in partnership with the Welsh government, local government and the NHS to develop and shape cancer policy in Wales.
  • We’re campaigning for equal access to BRCA testing and information across the UK
  • Members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ovarian Cancer visited our centre in December, and we continue to work closely with them to raise the profile of ovarian cancer in parliament
  • We’ve engaged with 22 Members of Parliament and 13 Welsh Assembly Members to put ovarian cancer and BRCA on the political agenda in the last year

4.      Developing researchers

  •  At any given time we’re funding around 50 scientists working on ovarian cancer
  • We’re on a mission to nurture the best minds in ovarian cancer research. For each HHMT, we sponsor six young, up-and-coming scientists to come along and get inspired
  • We look to the next generation of scientists. Over 50 students have taken their PhD qualifications at our centre in the last five years

5.      Stimulating further funding and partnerships

  • From 2012-2017 the £3.3m we received from supporters resulted in a further £9.9m being donated to ovarian cancer research at the centre from industry and the government
  • The centre was granted £250k from the government ‘tampon tax’ fund, for work on hereditary risk
  • Imperial is a world-class institution. The research centre enables links between ovarian cancer research and other facilities

Donate £5 now to help fund life-saving research