Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) cancer service stats

ACT on Cancer campaign

About 4,000 new cancer patients seen in Addenbrooke’s each year. Referrals and most treatment activity rising at between 5% and 10% per year.

  • Survival rates are better than the national average  
  • CUH is the first general hospital in Europe to be accredited as a Comprehensive Cancer Centre by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes
  • 90% of all prostate operations are carried out using minimally invasive robotic surgery at Cambridge compared to a national average of 20%. 
  • The national agenda is to improve access to Intensity Modulated Radiation Treatment (IMRT). This reduces the toxic side-effects of radiotherapy and enables higher radiation doses to be given. Addenbrooke’s treats 30% of patients with IMRT, compared to the national average of 13%.  
  • Addenbrooke’s treats more than 90% of patients as day cases; one of the highest rates in the UK  
  • There are more than 80 NHS consultants of all disciplines working on cancer (including radiology and pathology) 

Clinical Research at Addenbrooke’s

  • More than 50% of new patients were enrolled in randomised control trials in 2012/13 in the cancer network (the highest rate in England)
  • 250 current cancer trials in Cambridge, of which 160 are open to new recruitment  
  • West Anglia Cancer Research Network enrolled more than 7,000 patients to clinical trials (including screening studies) in 2012/13, the 2nd highest figure in England
  • Recent completed trials led from Cambridge have changed UK practice in: breast cancer prognosis and treatment prediction; breast precision radiotherapy; molecular diagnosis of myeloproliferative neoplasms; and standard chemotherapy regimens for oesophageal and stomach cancers, and advanced pancreatic neuro-endocrine tumours.    

Cancer Science in and around Cambridge

  • Over the past 15 years, three major laboratories in Cambridge have been created with a focus on cancer research: the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute/Li Ka Shing Centre; the Hutchison/Medical Research Council Research Centre; and significant cancer focused work undertaken in the Strangeways Research Laboratory. Today these laboratories provide workspace for almost 500 researchers, plus state-of-the-art supporting facilities for technologies such as genome sequencing, molecular imaging, microscopy and computational biology
  • Cancer is one of the 8 Strategic Initiatives of the University of Cambridge 
  • Grant income into the University on Cancer = £65 million/ year (this excludes MRC LMB and Sanger Institute)
  • Within a few miles of the Campus are other leading laboratories with strong cancer research interests such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Gurdon Institute and the Babraham Institute
  • In 2016, this cancer research and innovation ‘cluster’ will be strengthened further when AstraZeneca opens a new global cancer-focused research centre on site
  • In 2013, the contribution of Cambridge was recognised through its accreditation as a Comprehensive Cancer Centre by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI); one of only six centres in Europe and two in the United Kingdom to be recognised in this way, and the first in a general hospital
  • Around 150 cancer research groups exist throughout Cambridge are part of the Cambridge Cancer Centre
  • More than 2,400 cancer research papers were published in the last 40 months; 177 of these were in high impact international journals (impact factor >20) – i.e. more than 1 a week.   


  • It is predicted that, by 2020, almost half of Britons will get cancer in their lifetime.
  • Over 250,000 people in England are diagnosed with cancer every year and around 130,000 die from the disease. Currently, about 1.8m people are living with, and beyond, a cancer diagnosis.