Gynaecology Unit

Gynaecological cancer includes ovarian, cervical, endometrial, vaginal and vulval tumours, together representing a significant proportion of morbidity and mortality in women with cancer

Management of these tumour types requires a multidisciplinary team approach, and the Gynaecology Unit's clinical research programme is organised in such a way as to reflect this. It is structured around the South West London Cancer Network.

Research into gynaecological cancer

The Gynaecology Unit continues to make contributions to research questions across a range of diseases.

In ovarian cancer, this involves the role of surgery and chemotherapy in advanced disease. Increasingly, this includes patients whose disease has relapsed following first-line treatment, as data shows that following relapse patients can expect an extended survival period with further treatment.

In endometrial cancer, an important national study has recently been completed assessing the role of both radiotherapy and extended surgery with lymphadenectomy after conventional hysterectomy. The Royal Marsden was one of the largest contributors to this trial.

Other research:

  • The role of lymph node dissection in the management of vulval cancer is being examined.
  • In radiotherapy, patterns of bowel toxicity following treatment are being examined.
  • Fertility-sparing surgery in patients with early-stage cervical and ovarian cancer is being carried out.
  • The role of ultra-radical exenteration surgery is being assessed in patients with advanced and recurrent pelvic cancer, especially of the cervix.

Interactions with the laboratory are a very important feature or our work, particularly those that help us to better understand why (ovarian) cancer cells become resistant to drug treatment, and thus direct us towards improvements in chemotherapy.

Special features of the unit

The Unit has been recognised for many years by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) as an approved training centre for gynaecological oncology. There are two surgical fellows in a three-year programme training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital who in their second year rotate to The Royal Marsden.

A further fellowship programme has been approved by the RCOG, based at St George's Hospital and The Royal Marsden.


Head of Unit


Service Manager

  • Jo Waller