Around 44,900 people a year are diagnosed with cancer in the North West* – over 120 people every day. The same amount of people could fill Manchester’s AO Arena to capacity more than twice over. So, research into the best ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease has never been more vital. But it requires funding.

Our pioneering work across the UK, including in the North West, 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.

Northwich Guardian:

Alexandra Hendry is a researcher based at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, where work spans the whole spectrum of cancer research, from investigating the molecular basis of cancer to developing new treatments. Here, Alexandra talks about her area of expertise:

“I study how cells divide and the signals that control cell growth. This is important as all cancers deregulate the cell cycle, and often don’t respond to signals to stop growing. Understanding how these signals work and targeting them could help develop treatments for many different types of cancer.”

Alexandra explains her motivations for choosing the area of cancer research:

“I was drawn to cancer research because of how pervasive cancer is: almost no one lives a life untouched by cancer. It is also such a complex and varied group of diseases; cancers of different tissues are completely different, and even within the same cancer type patients can have completely different cancers. It’s a unique and massive problem, affecting us all, and any extra pair of hands in research is important to push us all forward.”

In 2020/21, Cancer Research UK spent around £33m on world-leading research right here in the North West.

The Manchester and Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) are a unique partnership between Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research in England, to bring together lab scientists and cancer doctors to speed up the flow of ideas and new treatments from the lab to the clinic.

Senior research nurses in Manchester and Liverpool facilitate the delivery of high-quality clinical trials and studies, getting new treatments into the clinic sooner. 

Gifts in Wills are vital because they help enable long-term research projects that could ultimately lead to new treatments for cancer. They allow us to keep on making progress and continue to help people live longer, healthier lives for generations to come.

Funding from gifts in Wills means a lot to researchers like Alexandra:

“It makes me proud to know that so much of my research is funded by people who have struggled with cancer directly or indirectly in their lives. I feel more connected to people, and motivated to work harder knowing that my work could actually help someone.”

2022 marks 20 years since Cancer Research UK was formed. In that time, we’ve made huge strides together. We’ve come so far. And we will go much further.

Alexandra has high hopes for the future of cancer treatment:

“I hope that one day cancer will stop being a life limiting disease. I hope that we develop so many types of therapeutics that we have treatments for every scenario. Then patients can be treated, either to cure them or to manage the tumours so they never become life-threatening, so that people can live a life not shortened or restricted by cancer.”

“I pledge to add to the pool of knowledge about cancer, so that we can develop better treatments against it.”

1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime**. Your support can fund the research that will beat it.

12,337*** supporters in the North West have pledged to leave a gift in their Will to Cancer Research UK. Join with them to help us fund pioneering researchers like Alexandra and make cancer as we know it a thing of the past.

Together we will beat cancer.

To get your free Gifts in Will guide, visit

Northwich Guardian: