HC Deb 24 February 2003 vol 400 c358W
Dr. Gibson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was spent on average in each of the last five years on research into(a) the prevention of cancer and (b) the link between diet and cancer in the UK. [97321]

Ms Blears

The information requested is not available. However, in April 2001 the Government established the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) in partnership with the charities and the pharmaceutical industry.

The NCRI's first strategic analysis, which was published in October 2002, was an overview of the £257 million a year of cancer research in the United Kingdom that is directly funded by the NCRI's fifteen partner organisations.

This analysis showed an apparently small investment—2 per cent.—in research into cancer prevention. But this category only included research aimed at the direct application of strategies to prevent cancer, and several other facets that inform preventive strategies are covered by other categories, such as aetiology, which includes diet.

The real investment in research relevant to future cancer prevention strategies was therefore larger than 2 per cent., but was still relatively low. The NCRI partner organisations agreed that the scale of research into cancer risk would benefit from closer joint examination. The NCRI has established a strategic planning group to carry out a much more detailed analysis of the research activity in this area, to discuss any potential opportunities and to identify any further action necessary.