We collaborate with organisations across the world to advance research and develop policies on cancer prevention.
Working together with other organisations helps us to do more research, share our cancer prevention science with a broader audience and encourage governments to implement policies that make a bigger difference.
Since 2005, we have been working with Breast Cancer Now (previously Breast Cancer Campaign) to co-fund UK-based research that explores the link between breast cancer prevention and recurrence, and food, nutrition, physical activity and weight. This has resulted in two jointly funded grants – by Dr Harvie at the University of Manchester and Professor Kuh at Uuniversity College 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 that 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.
The Cancer and Nutrition NIHR infrastructure Collaboration was initiated in 2014 and is coordinated by the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre. The main aim of this collaboration is to bring together a range of interdisciplinary stakeholders to bring coherence to existing activities and provide a coordinated framework for future research into nutrition and cancer. The Collaboration is facilitated by the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure and World Cancer Research Fund UK. The latest report details the work to date, including results from a patient experience survey, a survey of clinicians, and a mapping of cancer and nutrition research in the UK from the previous five years.
Within the Institute’s Food Policy Division, the Policy and Public Affairs team at World Cancer Research Fund International engage with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Population Salt Reduction on our work to reduce salt consumption.
The Center, which is part of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, uses a unique systems approach to preventing obesity by concurrently studying the many causes of the obesity epidemic. We work with the Center to exchange knowledge; link science to policy and action; and maximise our impact on government policies to reduce non-communicable diseases worldwide.
We are a member of the Coalition: an alliance of civil society organisations established to combat chronic diseases and their associated risk factors among people in the Caribbean. We share information and best practice to jointly influence and create effective methods for reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases in the region.
Our collaboration with IARC recognises our authority in the area of diet, nutrition, physical activity and cancer, and ensures that we remain at the forefront of international research. IARC shares with us the goal of producing evidence for cancer prevention and policy development in the areas of diet, nutrition and physical activity. We fund the IARC to carry out research, 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.
World Cancer Research Fund International has been working with Imperial – one of the world’s leading universities – since 2007. Researchers at Imperial work with us on our Continuous Update Project. The research team at Imperial 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.
World Cancer Research Fund International was a founding member and part of a consortium of 16 funding partners committing 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 that influence those behaviours. The research aims to improve health and prevent chronic diseases including cancer. Some specific case studies illustrate NPRI funded research in the diet and physical activity area.
NCD Alliance unites a network of over 2,000 civil society organisations globally and works to combat the non-communicable diseases (NCD) epidemic by putting health at the centre of all policies. We work closely with NCD Alliance in our advocacy work supporting global action on nutrition, NCDs and obesity. We have worked with NCD Alliance to ensure the development and implementation of the World Health Organization’s global policy architecture for NCDs – the international processes governing the approach to NCDs.
UICC is a membership organisation that unites the global cancer community to accelerate the fight against cancer. We are a Vanguard partner in UICC’s Together for Action campaign, which works to ensure governments take tangible actions in tackling cancer. The campaign 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. We are members of the UICC Cancer Prevention Network, a platform to exchange knowledge on cancer prevention and contribute to the International Cancer Control Partnership portal.
From 2008–14, we worked with Wageningen University in the Netherlands on research to increase our knowledge about primary and secondary colorectal cancer prevention and control. The project was funded by Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds and conducted by a research team at Wageningen University. For much more on this collaboration, included published research, see our project page.
We have been in official relations with the WHO since 2016. This means that we work collaboratively with WHO to help people reduce their risk of developing non-communicable diseases, including cancer. We are seen as a trusted advisor to the WHO, allowing us to influence public health policy at the highest level.
World Obesity is a federation of organisations dedicated to solving the problems of obesity. One of World Obesity’s initiatives is INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity/NCDs Research, Monitoring and Action Support), a global network that aims to monitor, benchmark and support actions to create healthy food environments. It has also developed a Government Healthy Food Environment Policy Index to assess the extent of government policy implementation against international best practice. Our NOURISHING framework is consistent with and supports the work of INFORMAS.
If you work in the areas of government, civil society and policymaking, and would like to know more about what we aim to achieve in this area and how, read our policy strategy for 2021–24.