Our global research indicates that about a third of the most common cancers can be prevented by eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight and taking regular physical activity.

Despite this, the number of overweight and obese people has increased over the past three decades, and cancer is now the biggest cause of death worldwide, with cases estimated to increase to 19.3 million by 2025.

To tackle this increasing burden of the disease requires a multi-sector approach. This is why we put working in partnership at the heart of our what we do.

Our current partners include:

World Health Organization

We have official relations status with the World Health Organization (WHO). This means that we work collaboratively to support the WHO in its public health promoting activities to help people to make healthy choices, and reduce their risk of developing a preventable cancer.

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

We are a leading member in the Union for International Cancer Control’s Together for Action campaign. The campaign aims to accelerate the pace of change in priority cancer areas at a global level by encouraging governments to take tangible actions.

Together for Action supports three main priorities:

  • Integrate global health agreements
  • Unite the global cancer community
  • Improve global capacity building

Across these priorities, we are closely involved in supporting and contributing to global advocacy around the implementation of the World Health Organization’s Global action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs 2013–20; advocating for the inclusion of cancer and other NCDs in the post-2015 Development Agenda; and raising awareness of cancer prevention through World Cancer Day.

We also participate at the World Cancer Leaders Summit and the biennial World Cancer Congress, organised by UICC.

Imperial College London

World Cancer Research Fund International has been working in partnership with Imperial College London – one of the world’s leading universities – since 2007.

Researchers at Imperial College London work with us on our Continuous Update Project (CUP) – our analysis of global scientific research into the link between diet, physical activity, weight and cancer.

The research team at Imperial College London maintain a central database of research papers on food, nutrition, physical activity and cancer (including cancer survivors), and prepare updated systematic literature reviews of the evidence as agreed with World Cancer Research Fund International, the American Institute for Cancer Research and a panel of leading independent experts from around the world. The Expert Panel makes the final judgement on the research.

As part of our commitment to developing future leaders in nutritional epidemiology, we offer annual Fellowships to outstanding applicants for the International Course in Nutritional Epidemiology, organised by the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.

National Prevention Research Initiative

We are part of a consortium of 16 funding partners committed up to £12m over five years to support the National Prevention Research Initiative (managed by the Medical Research Council). The focus is on behaviours associated with significant risks to health – such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, and alcohol consumption – as well as environmental factors which influence those behaviours. The research aims to improve health and prevent chronic diseases including cancer.

Breast Cancer Now

Since 2005, we have been working in partnership with Breast Cancer Now (previously called Breast Cancer Campaign) to co-fund top quality UK-based research that explores the link between breast cancer prevention and recurrence, and food, nutrition, physical activity and body weight. This has resulted in two jointly funded grants – by Dr Harvie at the University of Manchester and Professor Kuh at UCL in London – as part of our Regular Grant Programme. The grant by Dr Harvie contributed evidence to the bestselling book, The 2-Day Diet: Diet Two Days a Week. Eat Normally for Five, and Professor Kuh’s research revealed that those who had diets which included high levels of alcohol and energy rich foods at ages 36 and 43 years were associated with higher mammographic density, which is a risk factor for breast cancer.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

International Agency for Research on Cancer shares with us the common goal of producing evidence for cancer prevention and policy development in the areas of diet, nutrition and physical activity.

We fund the International Agency for Research on Cancer to carry out a number of research projects, for example to produce worldwide estimates on the extent to which cancer is linked to excess body fat. In addition, IARC is revising the European Code Against Cancer on behalf of the European Commission – our work forms the basis of the diet, obesity and physical activity component, and we are part of the key working groups. Professor Isabelle Romieu (Section Head Nutrition and Metabolism at IARC) is also an independent observer on our Continuous Update Project.

Wageneningen University, Netherlands

Since October 2008, we have been working with Wageningen University on research, which aims to increase our knowledge about primary and secondary colorectal cancer prevention, and control.

The project is funded by World Cancer Research Fund Netherlands and conducted by a research team at Wageningen University. We have supported this collaboration, organising bi-annual meetings with World Cancer Research Fund Netherlands and the Wageningen Project research group, as well as scientific advisors working in the field of diet and cancer prevention, to assess and review research developments. The project is due to end in 2014.