Over £5million has been pledged to cancer research following a summit in Edinburgh.

Worldwide Cancer Research, which counts Judy Murray among its ambassadors, hosted its Big Ideas Gathering in Scotland's capital over the weekend.

The summit was attended by some of the brightest minds in cancer research and medical science from 11 different countries.

Together they have committed to back 26 pioneering research projects around the world, which could each provide breakthroughs leading to new cures for cancer.

The Scientific Advisory Committee, whose members voluntarily donate their time, carefully assessed hundreds of potential projects from across the globe which are leading the way in discovery research in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style process which attracted interest from as far afield as Qatar and Canada. Together they bring the planet a step closer to finding cures for cancers including lung, breast and blood cancer.

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Each study is at the very beginning of the research life cycle, seeking to identify entirely new knowledge about cancer by asking questions which have never been investigated. The research journey can take up to 20 years from discovery to cure and many of these projects will lead to some incredible advances in how we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Dr Olivia Rossanese, Chair of Worldwide Cancer Research’s Scientific Advisory Committee, said: “When you consider that one meeting can potentially save millions of lives in the future, only then can you start to visualise the impact of this major funding announcement.

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"Each of the projects chosen is yet another avenue to explore as we endeavor to find cures for cancer – and thanks to the expertise of the committee and tireless dedication of global researchers, we’re laying the foundation for a breakthrough in years to come.  

“1 in 2 of us will develop cancer in our lifetime, so it’s imperative we start new cures and discoveries now”. 

The funding comes directly from Worldwide Cancer Research’s community of Curestarters who have donated, fundraised or gifted the charity this year. Worldwide Cancer Research is also pleased to partner with a number of other cancer research funders for this grant round including Irish Cancer Society, AECC from Spain and F-ARC from France.

Dr Lynn Turner, Director of Research at Worldwide Cancer Research, said: “Without the passion and generosity of our Curestarters, none of this pioneering work would be possible.

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Each and every Curestarter is helping the brightest minds to investigate the boldest ideas at the entry point of the scientific process.  These explorations may lead to countless other studies – bringing us closer and closer to our ultimate goal -  to reach a day when no life is cut short by cancer.

“We’re also extremely grateful to our partners Irish Cancer Society, AECC and F-ARC. Working collaboratively will enable more cutting-edge ideas with potential impact to be explored, helping us to stop cancer sooner. 

“We recognise that cancer is a global issue that requires global solutions, so for Worldwide Cancer Research to be at the heart of this historic moment to find new cures and treatments is a testament to the amazing work of scientists and research centres, both locally and overseas. 

“Finally, I’d like to thank our Scientific Advisory Committee for giving us their time to voluntarily assess, review and evaluate the ideas we receive each year.”