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 East, around 54,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year*, and sadly, approximately 22,700 people do not survive their disease**. 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 South East, 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.

One of our researchers, Professor Susana Godinho, is part of our Women of Influence initiative. Her team is investigating an essential structure in the cell that's involved in cell division, called the centrosome.

Most of the cells in our body have the ability to produce more copies of themselves in a process known as cell division, which is tightly controlled. But in cancer, this process becomes unregulated and leads to the uncontrolled growth of cells, which can form a tumour. A key mechanism in cell division is called the centrosome. Defective centrosomes can cause cell division to go wrong.

Professor Godinho discovered that having cells with abnormal numbers of centrosomes plays an important role in the development of cancer. Her team is using state-of-the-art imaging techniques to see how cancer cells with an abnormal number of centrosomes behave. They hope that by observing the inner workings of the cell division process in cancer cells, they'll find a way to intervene and stop tumour growth.

Professor Godinho hopes this research will lead to the development of new treatments that could target centrosomes in cancer cells, improving survival for people with cancer.

 "I remain hopeful that better, more effective treatments will continue to be developed that will save millions of lives."

Professor Godinho knows that leaving a gift to Cancer Research UK in your Will can make a real difference to people living with cancer:

"Gifts in Wills is the best example that we’re all in this together when it comes to cancer. I can’t thank those who leave a gift in their Will enough and I want them to know that we’re working tirelessly to help find treatments for this disease."

Thanks in part to gifts in Wills, we’re able to fund researchers like Professor Godhino. 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 Professor Godinho, 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. NSMC (ICD10 C00-C97 excl. C44) diagnosed in the South East between 2017 and 2019. 

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