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We are the only charity solely focused on research into treatments for prostate cancer. By 2023 we will scale up the amount of our research grants to £5m and projects to at least 23 per year. We will seed-fund scientists with great ideas to accelerate progress.


  • 300,000 men die from prostate cancer across the world, every year
  • 56,000 men diagnosed in the UK in 2018
  • 5,000 of these were under 60 years old
  • 12,000 of these are likely to die from prostate cancer
  • Only 5% of all cancer research spend goes on prostate cancer research in the UK

What's the need?

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer and recently became the most commonly diagnosed cancer in England.

We urgently need to develop new and effective treatments for advanced prostate cancer. It is in the late stages of the disease that prostate cancer kills, yet, surprisingly we are often still using treatments for late stage prostate cancer that are toxic and that prolong life by only a few months.

Globally, the funding of medical research into improved treatments has been minimal; according to the NCRI, just over £22m was spent overall on novel prostate cancer research in the UK in 2018. By way of comparison, £40–£46m has been spent on early stage breast cancer research over the last five years and mortality rates have fallen by 18% since 2014.

This is where PCRC comes in. We are here to invest in the science, research and medical breakthroughs of the future.

Why us?

PCRC has recently embarked on a bold new chapter. We have increased income by 46% in the last two years, doubled our grant expenditure and increased the number of projects we fund by 175%. We are not just scaling up the quantity of the research we fund; we are seed-funding scientists with great ideas to accelerate their progress.

Our focus is on taking research from bench to bedside. In order to achieve this:

  • We help our researchers connect with patients so that they have a deeper understanding of patient’s needs and challenges
  • We help scientists build new collaborations and partnerships with other scientists
  • We monitor and evaluate our impact so that we ensure the effectiveness of our research and continue to improve our work in the future

Only by working in this way do we have a good chance of saving and improving lives.

What we have achieved so far

Dr Christine Galustian’s research has reduced tumour growth in model organisms by up to 60% by modifying a protein and injecting into tumours. In addition, Dr Galustian’s team has found that using the modified protein in combination with another cancer drug it significantly increases the potency of the treatment, dramatically reducing tumour growth by up to 100%.

Our seven new research projects are working to create a future in which prostate cancer treatment is tailored to the type of prostate cancer a man has – the same strategy which revolutionised the treatment of breast cancer. The scientists are taking different approaches towards this common aim: from using analytics and AI to putting prostate cancer into different groups depending on how individual cancers behave; using new radiation tools to hunt out cancer, including when it has spread to other parts of the body; looking at whether genetic changes can tell doctors which drug will work best for which patient; shutting down resistance to cancer drugs by blocking cancer-causing proteins in different ways.

Three of our new projects are pilot awards, which represent a brand new seed-funding approach. We saw a need to inject a small amount of funds into highly risk-versus-reward projects so that they may show the idea to be solid enough for funders to feel confident about making a larger long-term award.





This three-year strategic plan reaffirms PCRC’s overarching vision and sets out six core strategic goals that will guide the decisions we make towards securing a better future for men and families affected by prostate cancer.

Become a gold standard for prostate cancer research

Fostering innovation through research

To deliver ‘life-changing’ treatments scientific excellence and innovation must go hand-in-hand. One of our main challenges will be to strike the right balance between tried-and-tested science and innovation. While we strive for scientific excellence, we should also be ready to learn from failures and adapt our approach accordingly in our quest for better treatments.

PCRC aims to become the gold standard for research that has an impact on advanced prostate cancer. We are committed to being at the forefront of innovation and fostering scientific excellence and, to this end, we will actively seek out exceptional science proposed by outstanding scientists. We will broaden the type of projects by systematically analysing and funding gaps within the prostate cancer research ecosystem that would have impact for patients by early 2020.








Form partnerships to deliver impact for our community

Leveraging partnerships

Looking out for and nurturing vibrant partnerships is part of the solution to speeding up the development of pioneering treatments for cancer patients in the UK and worldwide. We are actively seeking and building partnerships with other research organisations, such as Cancer Research UK, Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer Foundation and Tackle Prostate Cancer. These partnerships will reduce costs and maximise our collective impact.

Our focus on building relationships which stop us from replicating work that another organisation is already doing well such as support and advice. We will form multiple partnerships and relationships in 2020 in instances where there are complementary skills.

Over the next three years, PCRC will build bridges between the scientific community, government, pharmaceutical industry and people with prostate cancer.




Creating a culture of continuous learning within our community

Learning and connecting

Our main objectives will be to foster a culture of continuous learning and to build a ‘shared’ sense of purpose and the autonomy to achieve goals. Capturing and preserving knowledge will also be critical to effectiveness and long-term success. We will retain a training budget of more than twice the sector average. We will run a series of workshops and training sessions for staff and scientists on how to develop the right skills to collaborate such as active listening skills, giving and being comfortable with constructive feedback and asking good questions.

We are determined to shift perspectives and put patients’ experiences at the heart of the next generation of treatments. This new approach will guide our research, information, funding and communication strategies.

Our ultimate objective is to establish a stronger connection between our scientists, the people we are serving and ourselves. We will develop a new quality of life research that directly responds to a wider range of the needs and challenges of patients in 2020.




Be recognised as the leading authority on prostate cancer research

Positioning PCRC as a thought leader

To succeed in our mission, we need to further strengthen our credibility and reputation. It is not enough to do great work. We need to get better at demonstrating our impact – a strong and compelling brand will help us amplify the value we offer. To this end, we will need to shine a light on what we are doing and build our capacity to communicate it to targeted audiences. We will therefore grow our monitoring and communications capacity internally, and use selected advisors to help us reach our audiences by 2020 and beyond. To underpin this change, we will make the organisation far more accessible by presenting ourselves and our work in an inspiring and compelling way. By 2023, we aim to be recognised as the leading authority on prostate cancer research among the research community, decision-makers and funders.






Continue to add to the internal expertise

Strengthening internal structure and processes

The impartiality and rigor of our processes are paramount in deciding on which are the correct programmes that will advance scientific understanding and the development of prostate cancer research. It is the responsibility of trustees, staff and advisors to understand the environment in which the charity is operating and to lead the charity in fulfilling its purposes as effectively as possible with the resources available. To do otherwise would be to fail beneficiaries, funders and supporters.

We have therefore assembled experts to advise us on all aspects of running a successful and robust research charity. In 2020 we will continue to analyse and assess our skills and experience and fill gaps that may exist in our scientific advisory committee, executive advisory group and board of trustees. We will induct these volunteers into the organisation properly and ensure they have transparent oversight of the day-to-day workings of the organisation.






Become a £5m organisation funding at least 23 projects simultaneously

Sustainable growth

To achieve sustainable growth, we must diversify our income streams and increase our unrestricted funding capacity to fulfil the scale-up in commitments we are making. Only in this way can we fulfil our commitment to broadening our research. We aim to build a recession-resilient organisation and have just committed ourselves to fund £2m worth of projects. Our research expenditure will be doubling and we plan to carry on increasing our grant expenditure.

We will take a dual approach of bidding for larger grants from government, trusts, companies and high-net-worth individuals, while also strategically investing funds to ensure we build up the type of flexible funding that comes from events and individual giving.

We have already scaled up our income from £1.3m to £2m over the last two years and we should see further significant growth this year. We will become more stable by testing and rolling out new approaches to fundraising. By 2023 we will submit over £8m of funding bids so that we can fully fund all our research. By then we will be a £5m organisation, funding at least 23 projects simultaneously.












We believe in ‘innovation’ as a mindset. We always start off our work with an open mind and are not afraid to challenge conventional views to drive innovation. We actively seek out and support good ideas from our staff and volunteers and scientists. That’s why PCRC believes in investing in research that will yield long-term impact in quality of life for patients.


Through collaboration, we maximise our impact. We believe that the best results stem from bringing in a mix of perspectives, talents and experiences. Our ambition is to leverage the combined expertise of leading scientists for the greater good. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach will benefit all parties involved and ultimately advance cancer research.


We promote accountability and collective responsibility. We want our team to feel they can make decisions that will maximise our impact. Likewise, our drive for continuous improvement goes hand in hand with our willingness to take collective responsibility for our own actions and with our commitment to transparency. This also includes own up to our failures and correcting them wherever possible.


It is personal connections that bring our work to life. Our work starts and ends with people. We put patients first by listening to what matters to them. We talk in simple terms and endeavour to make science accessible to all. We believe in compassion and recognise that empathy goes a long way towards improving the quality of life of people with cancer.

“I very much appreciate your understanding of how difficult it is, especially for early career researchers like me, to gather sufficient preliminary data for such big grant applications.”

Dr Jorge de la Rosa Recipient of a 2019 Pilot Award


We believe in a brighter future for prostate cancer patients and are setting our sights on harnessing the power of innovation. We will work relentlessly alongside scientists to push back the boundaries of our understanding of this disease and to develop cancer treatments that will lead to men living longer and healthier lives.

By funding innovative and collaborative research projects, we can help secure a better future for cancer patients and their families. As a research-driven organisation, our success will ultimately be measured by the extent to which our research can improve the lives of those affected by prostate cancer.



“It is a privilege to be involved in the selection process for the funding of new projects. For men like me and for our nearest and dearest, it is essential that scientists are able to carry out the work of finding new ways to treat this potentially devastating disease. Treatments for prostate cancer have advanced at a phenomenal rate over the last few years.”

Dr David Matheson PCRC Patient Representative


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