Worldwide Cancer Research has funded almost 2,000 projects since it was founded in 1979.
Scotland’s cancer research charity is marking its 40th anniversary with a rebrand and a new awareness-raising campaign.
Worldwide Cancer Research (WCR) has awarded over £191 million to 1,870 projects across the globe since it was founded in 1979.
Cancer survival rates have doubled over that period, but the charity says more funding is urgently required to find a cure.
Its new First Step campaign will highlight WRC’s commitment to funding the very earliest research through a series of special-designed “first steps” placed around some of Edinburgh and Glasgow’s busiest streets.
The campaign was launched by STV entertainment presenter and Worldwide Cancer Research ambassador Laura Boyd, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2009.
David Sole, WCR board chair, who joined Laura to launch the campaign, said: “There is so much support for later stage cancer research that very often the first breakthroughs are forgotten or ignored. The First Step remains as critical as ever, and this is where Worldwide Cancer Research plays such a crucial role.”
The campaign coincides with the charity’s annual Bold Ideas Gathering, which sees the world’s top cancer researchers arrive in Edinburgh to discuss how to invest the money raised through fundraising and generous public donations. This year the charity has £4 million to spend on pioneering cancer research projects.
This year’s applications are from researchers based in 24 different countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Malaysia and Scotland, and cover topics ranging from how cells repair DNA to new immunotherapy techniques.
Dr Helen Rippon, the charity’s chief executive, said: “When Worldwide Cancer Research was founded forty years ago by Dr Colin Thomson, it was with one clear goal: to conquer cancer within his lifetime. Tragically, he died from multiple myeloma. His legacy is our mission - to find and fund life-saving research around the world to end the suffering and death caused by cancer.
“Over those forty years Worldwide Cancer Research has funded close to 2,000 projects around the world, helping to discover and develop new life-saving treatments. The First Step campaign underlines our belief that providing funding for the brightest new ideas in cancer research is vital to finding treatments and cures for cancer.”