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Research

UCARE's aim is to fund the best quality research by bringing together the knowledge and opinions of researchers, clinicians, and allied health professionals to support research and education in urological cancer.

All applications for grants are reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Committee and may be subject to external review to help the charity make decisions about funding in line with its objectives.

With your support we will fund future research, provide research equipment and provide practical help, education and information for patients, families and the community.

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What a difference 60 years can make

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee encourages us all to look back at the last 60 years, at the changes in our personal and professional lives.

Sixty years ago we had no systemic treatment for cancer; chemotherapy, for example, has only been introduced in the last 60 years. Today, thanks to research giving us an understanding of what causes cancer, we have seen significant developments in prevention, diagnostic capability, treatment and cure.

  • Prevention: In the early 1950s Sir Richard Doll established for the first time the link between smoking and lung cancer. In 1952, the Queen came to the throne on the death of her father: King George VI died from a stroke which, though unlinked to earlier surgery for lung cancer, was also related to smoking. The significance of Sir Richard Doll’s work has grown. In the urological field, we know that smoking increases the incidence of transition cell cancer of the bladder and kidney. We know too of other preventable causes of cancer – certain dyes used in the rubber and printing industries, asbestos used in construction, for example. And we all now know that our individual choices on lifestyle and diet can decrease the likelihood of our developing cancer.
  • Diagnosis and treatment: The widespread use of CT, MRI, Ultrasound and PRT scans have significantly increased diagnostic capability and the possibility of early intervention.
  • Improvements in anaesthesia: The advent of laparascopic (keyhole) and robotic surgery have made incisions smaller and recovery times faster. In kidney surgery, the development of partial nephrectomy – the removal of smaller tumours with a portion of the kidney while preserving the remainder – has kept many patients free of dialysis, while at the same time curing them of cancer.
  • Survival rates for most cancers have dramatically improved, while other cancers have, in fact become curable. Bob Champion’s win in the 1981 Grand National raised awareness of significant advances in drug therapy. Diagnosed in 1979 with testicular cancer and given only months to live, his treatment has been one of the many success stories in modern chemotherapy. Champion’s win on Aldaniti, a horse recently recovered from chronic leg problems, moved the nation and raised awareness of advances in modern chemotherapy. Today, death from testicular cancer is rare, even if the disease has metastasised to other organs.
Researcher using a microscope

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, UCARE has already approved grants totalling £633,934 for urological cancer research.