Research strategy

Together with its academic partner, the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), The Royal Marsden has a worldwide reputation for advancing cancer treatment.

Taking personalised cancer treatment to the next level is one of the main focuses of our research strategy.

NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

Together, The Royal Marsden and the ICR are the only National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) dedicated solely to cancer. The NIHR BRC facilitates the translation of scientific findings in genetic and molecular causes of cancer into improved treatment tested in national trials.

Clinical unit research leads

Professor David Cunningham is Director of Clinical Research. There are also clinical unit research leads, each responsible for ensuring that the quality and breadth of research within their unit fits with the strategy and seeks to develop research in areas of need. They are:

New and improved facilities

We are also complementing the aims of the research strategy with building projects to create a research community.

We currently have research teams scattered around the hospital, which is not ideal as they don’t benefit from peer networks and the sharing of best practice.

New developments, such as The Centre for Molecular Pathology and the West Wing Clinical Research Centre, have brought teams together, reducing the time it takes to set up new trials and ensuring patients can start benefiting from trials more quickly.

Patient and public involvement

Our patient and carer research review panel gives patients and the public an active role in shaping the Trust’s future research projects. Patient and public involvement helps us identify what’s important to patients and the public, and how we can improve the way we run clinical trials.

The panel was set up in 2011 and has already improved research projects being carried out at The Royal Marsden. The panel of up to 20 people meets four times a year to discuss research ideas presented by investigators and to discuss priorities. They also undertake email reviews of documents to make patient information more comprehensible for laypeople.

Find out more about the Patient and Carer Research Review Panel.

Behind the scenes

The Clinical Research and Development Department focuses on helping investigators take the right steps along all parts of the clinical research pathway, from concept to closure. The department is also responsible for supporting the Committee for Clinical Research (CCR), which grants sponsorship approval for clinical research studies.

This team aims to increase the speed and delivery of our research while maintaining its quality. For example, the Trial Set-Up meeting ensures that the right people – the investigator, pharmacy, radiology, finance and contracts – are gathered weekly to discuss new trials to be run in the hospital. This helps to quickly resolve issues that would usually delay the set-up of trials.

View our clinical research performance.

Training the next generation

Inspiring the future generation of researchers through training is a key aim of the strategy. The Royal Marsden prides itself on encouraging clinicians to develop their skills and dedicate time to research.

Plans are under way to expand the Trust’s already outstanding training programmes for clinical staff, to ensure they have the support and guidance they require to further their research portfolio, or learn how to start.