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Cancer: Research

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding his Department has allocated to research into renal cancer in each of the last three financial years; how much he plans to allocate for that purpose in each of the next three financial years; and if he will make a statement. (257364)

Over the last 10 years, the main part of the Department’s research and development budget has been allocated to and managed by national health service organisations. Those organisations have accounted for their use of the allocations they have received from the Department in an annual research and development report. The reports identify total, aggregated expenditure on national priority areas, including cancer. They do not provide details of research into particular cancer sites.

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), a United Kingdom wide partnership between Government, charities and industry, makes cancer research information available online via the international cancer research portfolio database at

www.cancerportfolio.org.

The NCRI’s 2004 strategic analysis of the directly funded cancer research supported by Government and charities showed that 62 per cent. of total funding was dedicated to supporting research that could be applicable to all cancers.

The usual practice of the Department’s National Institute for Health Research and of the Medical Research Council is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics: research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. Future levels of expenditure on renal cancer research will be determined by the success of relevant bids for funding.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the progress of ongoing clinical trials of treatments for renal cancer; and if he will make a statement. (257413)

The National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN) provides the health service infrastructure to support clinical trials for people with cancer. One of the aims of the NCRN is to improve the quality, speed and co-ordination of clinical research by removing the barriers to research in the national health service.

The NCRN is currently supporting eight clinical trials for people with renal cancer. Four of these trials have completed patient recruitment and patients are being followed up. One trial is in the process of being set up, and three trials are currently open to recruitment. The three trials that are open to recruitment are progressing according to plan, and are on target to finish on time.