#PrideInResearch at the MCRC

Words from our Director, Professor Rob Bristow

Manchester Cancer Research Centre | #PrideInResearch at the MCRC

For this year’s pride month, we want to recognise the huge support within the MCRC for our vision of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in all aspects of our work. This includes focusing on our scientific excellence and project co-creation, career establishment and maximal mentoring and engagement of our diverse populations in cancer research programming and clinical trials.   

Our leadership message  


Our ‘Cancer Precision for All’ approach at the MCRC means that we strive to tailor our prevention, detection and treatment of cancer to all people who will face cancer in their lifetime. We understand that different communities require different approaches and our mantra is to ensure equity in access to the very best cancer care.  


At the MCRC, being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is viewed as another part of our rich and diverse tapestry of research and will in no way obstruct one’s scientific or clinical ambition, opportunity, achievement or infrastructure access. We welcome this diversity. It mirrors the impact of work within our patient cohorts with a diversity in our researchers and trainees; all to achieve maximum relevance of the scientific questions that we ask every day.   


As an organisation, we are proud of our inclusive ethos around cancer research and will champion our leaders as the next era of pioneers of EDI in the UK.  


We currently pioneer this stance through ensuring that we have representatives from the LGBTQ+ community within our senior professional and research teams who can provide mentoring and advice to those at point of their career.  

Professor Robert Bristow, Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, looking at the camera

Why we at MCRC are pioneers for EDI 


At the MCRC, it is imperative that we understand the requirements of each individual patient, whatever community they come from. This includes appreciating barriers and issues certain communities may have in their access to cancer care and working to overcome them to guarantee each patient is provided with the best care that is tailored to them as an individual.  


We have superb researchers from the LGBTQ+ community who act to ascertain the needs of patients at a community level. These researchers are best suited to understanding some of the issues faced within Manchester’s LGBTQ+ communities and act to facilitate change in our practice and the ways we communicate to patients.   


In challenging the status quo and encouraging community engagement, it is hoped that future clinical trials will see greater participation from diverse communities and help in our vision of cancer precision for all.  


Our blog around EDI acts as an exemplar to this, alongside all of our research with communities at a greater risk from cancer.  

Our next steps  


We must continue to embrace our ethos of cancer precision for all and explore different ways that we can improve EDI in our research. This means continuing to appoint specific representatives chosen by different diverse communities. These representatives will act to communicate issues and requirements that we as an organisation can then address. 


In the future we will be holding workshops that bring patients and researchers together to discuss some of the most important aspects of research for the MCRC.  


Our goal is to create an inclusive environment in which all individuals from different communities are provided with bespoke cancer treatments and aftercare. In this sense, ‘cancer precision for all’ not only includes tailored cancer medicines but also tailored support packages.  

Professor Nalin Thakkar, Vice President for Social Responsibility at The University of Manchester

“At The University of Manchester, we strive to create an equal and diverse environment where everyone is treated fairly. Universities exist to improve the world through their research, teaching and engagement activities. At Manchester, we have a role in removing systemic inequalities and speaking up for those without a voice.

We have a long history of LGBTQ+ activism and this Pride Month, we want to reiterate our values of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). The University of Manchester welcomes all students and we work to ensure that those students from the LGBTQ+ community will find the university to be an inclusive, supportive and safe environment.

We will work tirelessly to address issues of discrimination, and the knowledge that we produce and share with others will play a role in achieving this necessary change. We have something to learn from every individual which means every individual will be supported here.”

Nalin Thakkar

Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK

“Cancer Research UK is founded on the basis of improving life for people with cancer. This means and has always meant, all people with cancer. We know that cancer doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion or ethnicity.  


Some groups in society are hit harder than others by the effects of cancer, and this Pride Month, we are recognising the work that needs to be done to influence our partners to ensure cancer services and care are available to all 


As a charity, we know that we best achieve our goals when we reflect all the communities we serve. We are striving to represent this diversity in our workforce as well as in our communications, marketing and campaigns. We can and will have a stronger voice to address health inequalities in diverse communities.” 

Michelle Mitchell

Roger Spencer, Chief Executive of The Christie 

“At The Christie, excellent patient care and treating everyone with dignity, compassion and respect go hand in hand and are part of our ethos and culture. Pride month is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the specific issues faced by the LGBTQ community when it comes to cancer care.

It is important that we continually strive for improvement in our understanding and continue to work to ensure cancer care is equitable, accessible and excellent for all.”

Roger Spencer headshot

Improving cancer care in the LGBTQ+ community

Read about Dan Saunders, Consultant in Clinical Oncology at The Christie, as he discusses the work towards improving cancer care in the LGBTQ+ community


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