Sir Harpal said about the knighthood: "It was a huge surprise and a very big honour."
He added: "It's really a reflection of the very, very big team of people who make what we do possible, from the scientist to the doctors, to the volunteers to the staff and people around the world working to reduce the fear of cancer for people."
Sir Harpal went on say: "We're now at a point where as many people survive cancer as die from it, the first time in history we've been able to say that.
"Survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years and of course we want to see that progress increasing and want to see it accelerating."
After training as a chemical engineer, Kumar worked as a research scientist with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, before joining McKinsey as a healthcare consultant in 1992. He then went on to hold senior positions in the medical field, before joining Cancer Research UK in 2002.
The knighthood was bestowed upon him for his hugely influential work in promoting research into the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and cancer care. CRUK’s income and research spend are at an all-time high. Under his leadership, he has been instrumental in pushing the Government to take further measures to reduce smoking and to ban sun-beds for under-18s. He also chaired the Independent Cancer Taskforce and authored the NHS Cancer Strategy “Achieving World Class Cancer Outcomes. A Strategy for England 2015-20”, published in July 2015. He has been instrumental in setting up the Francis Crick Institute as a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation.
The UICC team would like to extend its congralutations to Sir Harpal Singh Kumar for his knighthood.