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Extra £400m for cancer drugs fund

Rare cancer drugs will now be accessible to more people, following a £400 million funding top-up from the government. 

The money will be used to extend the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) for two years and help a project to map 100,000 genomes. 

Cancer Research UK and government-owned Genomics England will help reach the Prime Minister's ambition for Britain to be world-leading in unlocking DNA data. 

The whole DNA code of 3,000 cancer patients will be sequences, as well as a further 3,000 whole DNA sequences for their cancer tumours. 

Government figures show more than 34,000 patients have benefitted from the CDF since it was created in 2010. 

David Cameron said: “When I became Prime Minister three years ago, many patients with rare cancers were being denied lifesaving treatments. That is why we created the Cancer Drugs Fund, it is why we are extending it, and it is why we are partnering with Cancer Research UK to conduct new research into the effectiveness of cancer drugs.” 

Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: “New treatments targeting the genetic changes in cancer are being developed all the time, and the Cancer Drugs Fund is a vital way for patients to get them as soon as they've been properly tested and shown to work. 

“Our partnership with Genomics England builds on our research testing genetic changes in tumours to understand cancer in all its intricate detail. This rapidly-changing research field lays the foundations for even faster progress, saving many more lives from this devastating disease.”