Cancer Research UK has pledged to tackle global cancer challenges with £60 million funding.

The charity says it is funding three major new international research initiatives on the microbiome, chronic inflammation and why some cancers are specific to certain tissues and not others.

The multidisciplinary teams of scientists, who have been awarded almost £60 million collectively, come from across North America, the UK and Europe, and Israel and plan to come together to explore these challenges, which are currently some of the biggest in cancer research.

The move to bring these teams together is part of Cancer Research UK's Grand Challenge project, which aims to find novel ways of treating cancer and develop new options to prevent cancer developing in high-risk patients.

Dr Iain Foulkes, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of research and innovation, said: “Individually, these research teams are among the best in the world in their respective fields. By bringing them together across borders, Grand Challenge is enabling these teams to think bigger and establish new and exciting collaborations. The scale of the funding reflects the opportunity we see in harnessing their ability to understand and tackle cancer.”

These five-year research programmes will investigate how billions of microorganisms living in our bodies, called the microbiome, could be manipulated to treat bowel cancer; find new ways to tackle cancers linked to chronic inflammation; and develop a deeper understanding of why cancers develop in some tissues but not in others.

The funding for these new projects comes from Cancer Research UK directly and with support from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, based in New York, which is providing £10 million to the project.