Coronavirus (COVID-19): visiting The Royal Marsden suspended

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest: Visiting The Royal Marsden is still suspended, but we want to reassure our patients, their families and anyone worried about cancer during this difficult time that we are still delivering treatment - the hospital is open. Please see more information here about how we are keeping everyone safe.

NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

The Royal Marsden, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR), is designated as the UK's only National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) dedicated solely to cancer.

The BRC supports cutting-edge cancer research and aims to speed up the translation of scientific discoveries in the laboratory to a clinical setting, enabling patients to benefit sooner from new treatments, diagnostic tools and medical technologies.

NIHR funding

The NIHR funds 20 BRCs across England, bringing together leading academics and clinicians to drive progress in research by creating an environment where innovative medicine can thrive. 

The Royal Marsden and the ICR first received the prestigious NIHR grant in 2006 and were re-awarded this status in 2011 and 2016. 

The current award, which runs from 2017 to 2022, provides our BRC with £43 million in funding over five years, to be shared across six research themes and two cross-cutting themes. 

Research themes

  • Breast cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancers
  • Prostate cancer
  • Uncommon cancers
  • Targeted physical therapies
  • Novel cancer therapeutics

Cross-cutting themes

  • Digital
  • Genotypes, phenotypes and cancer evolution

The BRC currently supports over 200 research personnel, 33 trainees and almost 550 clinical trials, to which 7,500 patients have been recruited. The translational research supported by the BRC follows through to larger national trials, and therefore has a key role in influencing clinical practice.


Research goals

The BRC's goal is to increase cure rates and improve survival with smarter, kinder treatments which significantly reduce immediate and long-term side effects and allow patients to live well with and beyond cancer.

The BRC aims to:

  • Prevent cancers from developing and identify those most at risk of the disease
  • Detect cancer earlier and more accurately to make cure more possible
  • Tackle the enormous complexity and unpredictable nature of cancer 
  • Deal with the ability of cancers to adapt and evolve within the patient and in response to treatment

​​You can find out more via the BRC website.