Two best friends, Alisha & Shriya, hug in Pancreatic Cancer UK vests

Our ultimate test

Today, we have issued a rallying cry to runners – “Take on the ultimate test to help develop the ultimate test”– as we were announced as the official charity of the year for the 2025 TCS London Marathon. We’re aiming to raise £2M to put a game-changing early detection test for the deadliest common cancer into the hands of doctors. Such a breakthrough could save thousands of lives a year from the disease, which kills more than half of people within just three months of their diagnosis.

Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have barely improved in 50 years – in stark contrast to the improvements seen in outcomes for many other types of cancer. No screening programmes or early detection tests currently exist to help doctors. Tragically, as a result, 80% of people are not diagnosed until their cancer is at an advanced stage meaning that it is often too late for them to have lifesaving treatment. By 2027 the disease is projected to overtake breast cancer and become the fourth biggest cancer killer in the UK.

Our Chief Executive, Diana Jupp, said: “The 2025 TCS London Marathon will be one of the most important days for pancreatic cancer ever and we are so, so proud to be the official charity of the year. For 50 years, research into this devastating disease has been underfunded and left behind, leaving families with only hope to hold on to.

“But they deserve more than hope. To have an early detection test finally within reach, which could save as many lives as there are runners taking part in this iconic event is hugely exciting.

Quotemarks Created with Sketch.
Quotemarks Created with Sketch.

"That’s why we’re calling on people across the UK to raise awareness and help develop the ultimate test by supporting our TCS London Marathon campaign. Together we can deliver more than hope to every family affected by the deadliest common cancer.”

Diana Jupp, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK

Hugh Brasher, Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the TCS London Marathon said: “We’re delighted to welcome Pancreatic Cancer UK as our official Charity of the Year for the 2025 TCS London Marathon. We know that early detection of the disease is essential to survival rates, and we hope that this opportunity means Pancreatic Cancer UK can raise the funds required to make significant developments in the availability of screening and early detection tests. My father Chris Brasher, co-founder of the London Marathon, died from pancreatic cancer just six months after diagnosis so I know well the devastating impact of this disease. We wish the team at Pancreatic Cancer UK all the very best in their efforts and look forward to working with them in the year ahead.”

Ahead of today’s announcement, we unveiled our new logo, which will be featured on the kit of the 800 runners we hope to recruit for next year’s TCS London Marathon. We are also changing the way we communicate, with new bolder and stronger messaging to demand attention and drive action to tackle the deadliest common cancer. The TCS London Marathon is a key opportunity to raise vital income to fund research innovation while increasing public awareness, so that we can reach more people with our award-winning support services.

The launch video for the Ultimate Test campaign is narrated by Graham Sturge, who ran the 2017 London Marathon for our charity just hours after his dad, John, died from pancreatic cancer. Since that incredibly emotional run, Graham has gone on to complete all six of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, raising more than £100,000 for our charity. He will be running once again in 2025.

Pancreatic Cancer UK COTY announcement video

Sturge, 51, said: “Finding out that a loved one has pancreatic cancer is devastating for them, for you, and for the family. At that point there is very little positivity, so you look for any element of hope you can find. But you realise very quickly that hope just simply isn’t enough. Funding from the TCS London Marathon will create more than hope for thousands of families and generations to come.  Having a test within reach for pancreatic cancer is such an exciting time for everyone.”

Next year’s TCS London Marathon will be held on 27 April 2025.