Formed in 2002 from the merger of Imperial Cancer Research Fund, in its centenary year, with The Cancer Research Campaign, the world's largest independent cancer research charity has 13 centres bringing together universities, NHS Trusts and five research institutes, including the world-class Francis Crick Institute in London opening in 2016. Its network also includes eight clinical trial units, 18 experimental cancer medicine centres (ECMCs) testing new treatments, along with 11 paediatric ECMS, and four drug discovery units.
Its scientists over the last century have led the development of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brain tumour and breast cancer drugs. This century it has helped develop vaccines against the virus that causes cervical cancer and research into proteins that drives cancer cell growth. It also provides public information, runs campaigns and lobbies on public policy on cancer.