Professor Kevin Harrington

Professor of Biological Cancer Therapies BSc MBBS MRCP FRCR FRCP PhD DIC

Specialism: Head and neck, Radiotherapy, Skin

Available at: Cavendish, Chelsea

Special interests:

  • IMRT for head and neck cancer
  • palliative chemotherapy for head and neck cancer 
  • salivary gland cancers
  • immunotherapy for cancer


Professor Kevin Harrington specialises in treating patients with head and neck cancer. He is Joint Head of the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging. In addition to expertise in the use of radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy, he is an authority on drug treatment of relapsed and metastatic head and neck cancer. He is a Professor in Biological Cancer Therapies at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation. 

Professor Harrington studied medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London and began focusing on head and neck cancer while a PhD student at Hammersmith Hospital. He completed post-doctoral research in molecular medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, before being appointed as a Consultant Oncologist at The Royal Marsden in 2001. 

Within the ICR, he leads the Targeted Therapy Team Leader in the Division of Cancer Biology. His research team focuses on two main areas: the use of viruses as anti-cancer agents and the development of new drugs that improve the activity of radiation against cancer cells. 

He holds a number of research grants, including programmatic and infrastructure funding from CRUK and the MRC. He has published more than 400 articles on cancer treatment and his work has been featured in newspaper and television reports. Much of Professor Harrington's laboratory work is immediately translated into clinical trials at The Royal Marsden, most often in patients with head and neck cancers and melanomas. Professor Harrington says that his focus is on conducting innovative laboratory research with a view to applying it in the clinical setting for "real patient benefit".

Clinical units