The Centre for Molecular Pathology (CMP)

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research, London have an excellent infrastructure for the leadership and delivery of clinical trials. 

Dedicated clinical trials units

The combined clinical trials infrastructure at The Royal Marsden and ICR means that researchers supported by the BRC can design and lead local, national and international trials across all phases and all aspects of treatment and diagnosis and can treat patients in these trials using research dedicated treatment facilities supported by cutting‑edge technologies. 

The Royal Marsden Clinical Trials Unit

The Royal Marsden Clinical Trials Unit (RM-CTU) became a fully registered UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Clinical Trials Unit in 2018 and manages novel early phase single or multi-centre interventional trials, acting as a facilitator and coordinator for designing, carrying out and analysing high quality and robust clinical trials.

RM-CTU provides a large infrastructure comprising oncology specialist trial managers, statisticians and data programmers focused on managing investigator-initiated trials in all aspects of cancer treatment and diagnosis, across all tumour types. There is a particular emphasis on early phase studies including radiotherapy/immunotherapy combination studies. RM‑CTU complements the infrastructure provided by the ICR investigator initiated phase I trials team within the joint DDU that specialises in first‑in‑human trials.

The ICR Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit

The National Cancer Research Institute‑recognised ICR Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit (ICR‑CTSU) provides national leadership of phase II and phase III trials of new treatments and technologies, particularly in breast, urological and head and neck cancers. Understanding cancer biology and treatment response using biomarker‑driven trial designs is fundamental to the ICR‑CTSU’s research.

The ICR‑CTSU, enables the advancement of BRC‑supported research into clinical practice by pulling through early phase trials to later phase trials conducted within RM‑CTU. It interacts closely with RM‑CTU, which has enacted a synergistic growth in capacity to enable proficient delivery of a wide range of clinical trials in cancers of unmet need.

The Oak Foundation Drug Development Unit

The Oak Foundation Drug Development Unit (DDU) is a joint unit of The Royal Marsden and the ICR which specialises in first-in-human trials and aims to seamlessly integrate pre‑clinical drug discovery, proof‑of‑principle phase I trials and tumour‑specific evaluation of novel agents. 

The DDU conducts over 75 early phase trials and recruits over 300 patients to these trials each year, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. The Unit takes at least three to four novel drugs forward to the next stages of development every year, including those discovered at the ICR. It also benefits from on‑site laboratory capabilities including drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmaco dynamic biomarkers and cancer biomarker resources within the ICR.

Dedicated research treatment facilities

The Royal Marsden has two hospital wards dedicated to the treatment of patients in clinical trials.

The Oak Foundation Drug Development Unit (DDU) also provides inpatient facilities for patients participating in first‑in‑human trials and the West Wing Clinical Research Centre provides dedicated outpatient treatment facilities for patients participating in early to late phase trials. These facilities enhance our recruitment to early clinical trials, patient experience of research and tissue acquisition infrastructure.

Imaging and imaged-guided therapies

The NIHR Imaging Clinical Research Facility (CRF) provides essential capacity for BRC clinical trials, particularly in novel therapeutics that require incorporation of imaging protocols.  Each year the NIHR Imaging CRF facilitates around 1,000 patient visits for MRI or PET/CT imaging across approximately 150 clinical trials in a wide range of cancer types.

The MR Linac facility houses one of the world’s most advanced radiotherapy machines combining a state-of-the-art radiation machine with a magnetic resonance imaging scanner.

The AI Imaging Hub aims to investigate the use of artificial intelligence in cancer imaging to gather insight into the biological behaviours of the disease so that tailored treatments can be created and adapted to each patient's needs.

Molecular diagnostics and biobanking

The Centre for Molecular Pathology is a purpose-built centre in Sutton, which was opened in 2012 by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer of England. It provides an innovative environment with state-of-the art laboratories, co-locating BRC researchers (clinicians, pathologists, geneticists and other scientists), a Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and a dedicated bio-banking facility.

The Tumour Profiling Unit supports our vision for patients to have their tumour profiled at diagnosis and throughout treatment so their management plan can be adjusted every time a molecular change occurs. Using the latest next-generation genetic sequencing technologies the Unit classifies tumours by their genetics and find ways of personalising treatment to the particular mutations driving them.

The Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research is a Chelsea-based facility consolidating all clinical research development and staff in one area alongside clinical space, helping to ensure maximum benefits to our patients. The Centre aims to identify molecular differences between tumours that allow the optimal treatment of individual breast cancer patients.

The Integrated Pathology Unit is a tissue-based laboratory jointly run by The Royal Marsden and ICR. It aims to develop complex and highly quantitative approaches to tissue analysis (wet lab and in-silico) in the space of translational and clinical research.