The Royal Marsden

Building for the future

Over the past decade, the work of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research has resulted in groundbreaking achievements in cancer research. Here, we focus on the facilities that continue to enable this pioneering work

The West Wing Clinical Research Centre

The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has made numerous breakthroughs over the past decade. This catalogue of groundbreaking achievements would not have been possible without the BRC’s world- class facilities, which continue to allow us to translate our research into patient benefit. 

“Over the past five years, we have invested more than £150 million – and in the next five, we are investing close to £250 million – in facilities for cancer research, treatment and care, as well as continuing to develop leading-edge treatments that will support the NIHR BRC,” says Professor David Cunningham, Director of Clinical Research. 

“We have outstanding people and terrific infrastructure to bring these benefits to patients in the NHS and around the world.”

 

TUMOUR PROFILING UNIT

Established in 2013, the unit carries out research on the genetics and molecular biology of cancers, using that knowledge in new targeted and personalised approaches to treatment. Our vision is for patients’ tumours to be profiled at diagnosis and throughout treatment so their care plan can be adjusted every time a molecular change occurs.

CENTRE FOR EVOLUTION AND CANCER

Here, Charles Darwin’s principles of natural selection are applied to our understanding of why cancer occurs and why it is so difficult to treat. We use this knowledge to look into new treatments and prevention.

CENTRE FOR MOLECULAR PATHOLOGY (CMP) 

CMP staff identify the molecular mechanisms that drive cancers and target them with new treatments. By working closely with our Histopathology department, we can rapidly analyse several specimens and feed data to multidisciplinary teams and clinical trials.

12–14

new studies opened by the DDU each year

DRUG DEVELOPMENT UNIT (DDU)

The drugs developed at the ICR are trialled here for the first time, showcasing the collaboration between the laboratory and clinical teams. The DDU recruits to an average of 25 trials and opens 12-14 new studies each year. Over the last five years, 1,211 patients have entered Phase I trials here. 

WEST WING CLINICAL RESEARCH CENTRE

This area enables scientific findings about the genetic and molecular basis of cancer to be rapidly translated into improved targeted therapies. Patients on clinical trials and our research staff are brought together here, allowing us to bring new treatments to patients faster. And its onsite laboratory and pharmacy have increased our capacity for Phase II trials.

THE OAK CENTRE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Based at Sutton, this is one of Europe’s largest paediatric centres, with more than 5,000 day patients and 600 inpatients receiving treatment here every year. The centre’s paediatric drug development programme gives young patients early access to clinical trials of drugs that have been developed at the BRC.

75,000

radiotherapy treatments delivered each year

RADIOTHERAPY

Over the past five years, we have invested more than £16 million in our radiotherapy facilities, which deliver 75,000 treatments for 5,000 patients every year. The Royal Marsden was one of the first NHS trusts to install CyberKnife, which delivers concentrated, precisely targeted stereotactic radiotherapy from almost any angle.

KNOWLEDGE HUB

Focusing on harnessing ‘big data’, this initiative enables the sharing and analysis of complex scientific data across the ICR and The Royal Marsden. We aim to use this vast bank of information to improve patient care and outcomes by combining earlier diagnosis with kinder, smarter treatments. 

CENTRE FOR CANCER IMAGING

Here, we have access to the latest imaging technologies. These provide a window into the body to see how cancer develops and how tumours respond to therapy, accelerating the discovery of new treatments.