£4.5m investment to improve cancer treatment in Sheffield

Cancer patients in Sheffield are set to benefit from the latest innovations in treatment and care due to a multi-million pound research programme from Yorkshire Cancer Research.

YCR grantThe charity will join forces with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a ground breaking collaboration that will combine pioneering scientific and technological developments with initiatives designed to improve cancer outcomes in the region.

The £4.5m investment will fund the appointment of 10 of the UK’s most promising researchers and cancer specialists, whose expertise will further reinforce Sheffield as one of the best centres in the country for patient-focused cancer research.

Their appointments will build on the international reputation of the Weston Park Cancer Clinical Trials Centre and bring together clinicians and researchers across the city in the fight against cancer.

The programme, led by Robert Coleman, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Sheffield, will focus on four key strategic areas:

  • developing and testing new ways to diagnose and assess lung cancer;
  • carrying out innovative clinical trials;
  • improving the health and wellbeing of patients living with and beyond cancer;
  • and addressing health inequalities by improving early diagnosis and access to treatment.

The appointments will be made over the next three years and each project will run for five years. The research will involve thousands of patients living in the South Yorkshire area, and the funding is expected to attract further investment into cancer research in Sheffield.

“This major investment by Yorkshire Cancer Research means that Sheffield can continue to pioneer new treatments to give cancer patients a brighter future,” said Professor Coleman.

“Cancer will affect one in two of us in our lifetime, but our ground breaking research means that patients in our region benefit from revolutionary treatments.”

An estimated 18,235 people in Sheffield are currently living with or beyond cancer. This number is expected to increase to 28,450 people by 2030, meaning significantly more people will need access to the best treatment and long-term care1.

Sheffield is one of the highest ranked deprived local authorities in the country, and cancer outcomes tend to be worse in areas of high deprivation. The reasons behind this include higher levels of unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, poor knowledge and awareness of symptoms, and barriers in access to healthcare.

Lung cancer incidence rates in Sheffield are higher than the national average, with 103 cases per 100,000 people diagnosed in Sheffield compared to 78 in England2. 89 per cent of lung cancers are caused by smoking or other preventable factors3.

The number of preventable, premature deaths from all cancers in Sheffield is also higher than the national average. There were 90 preventable deaths per 100,000 people under the age of 75 in Sheffield during 2013-15 compared to 81 in England4.

The investment is part of a 10 year strategy announced last year by Yorkshire Cancer Research to ensure 2,000 more people living in Yorkshire survive cancer every year by 2025.

An estimated 18,235
people in Sheffield are
currently living with
or beyond cancer.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Interim Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are incredibly proud to be able to fund this unique programme of research in Sheffield. We are excited to be working with our region’s leading cancer experts to improve the lives of people living in South Yorkshire.

“At Yorkshire Cancer Research we believe every single person in every community in and around Yorkshire should have the very best chance of living a long and healthy life with, without and beyond cancer. We are incredibly grateful to all our supporters for making this investment possible.”

Professor Chris Newman, Faculty Director of Research at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this major strategic partnership with Yorkshire Cancer Research. This generous funding will help us to attract the next generation of world class cancer researchers to Sheffield.

cancer research grant“Working alongside our senior consultants and academics, these new researchers will accelerate our programmes to develop and implement new treatments to benefit patients in our region but of course also more widely.”

Dr Trish Fisher, Clinical Director at Weston Park Cancer Centre said: “The ability to offer many of our patients the chance to be part of cutting edge clinical trials, that can not only improve their cancer outcomes, but also pave the way for advancements in cancer treatments, is one of the reasons that Weston Park is a leading UK cancer centre.

“We are delighted to receive this funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research, and to be working in partnership with the University of Sheffield to increase further our research capabilities to the benefit of our patients.”

Additional information


1. Local Cancer Intelligence, Cancer Prevalence, http://lci.cancertoolkit.co.uk/Prevalence
2. CancerData, Incidence, https://cancerdata.nhs.uk/incidence, Accessed [January 2017].
3. Parkin, Boyd and Walker, The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010, British Journal of Cancer 2011, 105: S1-S81.
4. Public Health England, Public Health Outcomes Framework, Healthcare and premature mortality, http://www.phoutcomes.info/public-health-outcomes-framework#page/0/gid/1000044/pat/6/par/E12000003/ati/102/are/E08000016

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2016 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Yorkshire Cancer Research

Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research is the UK’s largest regional medical research charity (registered charity no. 516898)
We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
Current statistics show that 565 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.

We aim to:
Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient’s journey.
Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.

For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk

Weston Park Cancer Centre

Weston Park Cancer Centre is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England. Weston Park Cancer Centre is home to the best radiotherapy department in the region, ideally equipped to handle the 6,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed annually. Weston Park Cancer Centre has a world-leading reputation as a centre of excellence in the fight against cancer, responsible for numerous modern advances within the field of cancer research. In the purpose-built Cancer Clinical Trials Centre academics and clinicians work together on pioneering research and trials to enable our patients to live longer and better lives.

Weson Park is a recognised SABR Centre for primary lung cancer and oligometastases; has Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) status, an accolade only given to high performing hubs; and is one of only three centres in the UK who run the screening programme for trophoblastic disease, and one of only two to treat persistent tumours.

Weston Park has a purpose built Teenage Cancer Unit; is a world leader in Late Effects services, which continue to support the ongoing general health and wellbeing, physical and psychosocial needs of cancer survivors for the years and decades after treatment; and is home to Weston Park Cancer Support Centre, which offers support and advice to patients, carers, family members and others affected by cancer.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is one of the UK’s largest NHS Foundation Trusts and one of the largest and busiest teaching hospitals. We have over 16,000 staff caring for over two million patients each year at our five hospitals and in the local community:

  • The Royal Hallamshire Hospital
  • The Northern General Hospital
  • Charles Clifford Dental Hospital
  • Weston Park Cancer Hospital
  • Jessop Wing Maternity Hospital

We offer a full range of local hospital and community health services for people in Sheffield as well as specialist hospital services to patients from further afield in our many specialist centres. The Trust is recognised internationally for its work in neurosciences, spinal injuries, renal, cancer, transplantation, neurosciences and orthopaedics.

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our staff and volunteers, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been given an overall rating of ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with many services rated as ‘Outstanding'.

This means the Trust is one of only 18 (out of 174 Trusts) to have achieved a Good rating in every one of the five domains which the Care Quality Commission use to rate a NHS organisation: Safe, Caring, Responsive, Well led, Effective

The Trust is a recognised leader in medical research for bone, cardiac, neurosciences and long term conditions such as diabetes and lung disease. We also play a key role in the training and education of medical, nursing and dental students with our academic partners, including the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam. The Trust is a recognised leader in healthcare innovation and is host to a number of national projects including the Perfect Patient Pathway Test Bed, Devices for Dignity, Yorkshire and Humber Genomics Centre as well as being a partner in the Working Together Vanguard and National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine.

For more information visit: www.sth.nhs.uk


For further information please contact:

Amy Pullan
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9859