It’s thanks in part, to our incredible supporters, including those leaving gifts in Wills, that we’re able to consistently fund world-class cancer research to help more people than ever survive their cancer. In the 1970s, just 1 in 4 people in the UK survived cancer for 10 years or more. Today, that figure has doubled. We’ve come so far, but we still need to go further and faster.

In the South West of England, around 36,200 people are diagnosed with cancer every year*, and sadly, approximately 15,600 people die from cancer every year**. We urgently need to advance research to improve survival for people with cancer. To achieve this, we need your support.

Our pioneering work across the UK, including in the West Midlands, benefits from the generosity of supporters leaving a gift to Cancer Research UK in their Will. In fact, legacy gifts fund a third of our research. These legacies are vital because they enable us to commit to long-term research projects to improve our understanding of cancer biology and develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. They allow us to achieve breakthroughs at the cutting-edge of today's knowledge and technological capabilities and continue to save lives for generations to come.

By equipping our researchers with tools to support their development and progression, we’re investing in the scientific leaders of tomorrow who will help create a world where people live longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer.

We recognise that a diverse research community made up of people with a wide range of skills and perspectives is essential to delivering our mission to beat cancer. That’s why, in 2017, we set up the Women of Influence initiative. This mentorship programme champions women in cancer research and pairs early and mid-career female scientists with leading businesswomen, providing them with additional support at a critical time in their career development.

Somerset County Gazette:

One of our researchers, Dr Sean Lim, is part of our Women of Influence initiative. Her focus is on developing more effective cancer treatments that harnesses the power of the immune system for lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

One type of drug used to treat lymphoma is called rituximab, which hunts down lymphoma cells and sticks to their surface, marking them for destruction by the immune system. However, over time, the cancer cells become resistant to it and the cancer continues to survive in the body.

Dr Lim and her team are looking to see if they can combine rituximab with another type of treatment that can boost the immune system’s ability to recognise and kill the cancer cells. They’re doing this by developing special molecules that activate certain types of immune cells called T cells. By using these treatments together, Dr Lim hopes to manipulate the immune system to fight cancer more effectively so that more people can survive their disease.  

Somerset County Gazette:

Dr Lim truly appreciates the generous act of those leaving a gift in their Will to Cancer Research UK:

“Cancer Research UK’s funding has been, and continues to be, essential to what I do. I am incredibly grateful and thankful that we live in an engaged and generous society. With continued interest and support, I believe cancer treatment can only improve.”

Thanks in part to gifts in Wills, we’re able to fund projects like Dr Lim. By pledging to support Cancer Research UK, you enable us to invest in transformational research and harness the knowledge we need to make a difference for people affected by cancer. 

Our researchers, including Dr Lim are revolutionising what we know about cancer and how we can beat it. Join us to help bring about a world where people live longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer.

To get your free gifts in Wills guide, visit

*Based on the average annual number of new cases of cancer excl. NMSC (ICD10 C00-C97 excl. C44) diagnosed in the South West between 2017 and 2019

**Based on the average annual number of deaths from cancer (ICD10 C00-C97) in the South West between 2017 and 2019