About our research

The Royal Marsden and its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research, carry out groundbreaking work on the latest cancer treatments and technologies. Together we are ranked in the top four centres for cancer research and treatment worldwide, and form the only Biomedical Research Centre dedicated specifically to cancer. 

Researcher pouring liquid into a test tube

Our critical mass of internationally renowned clinicians, scientists and allied health professionals allows us to drive forward changes in clinical practice quickly and effectively.

The BRC develops scientific findings in the genetic and molecular causes of cancer into improved treatment tested in national trials. 

Key areas

We focus on research into two key areas: molecular classification of disease and cancer therapeutics.

Molecular classification of disease involves the identification, development and validation of biomarkers to predict treatment outcome or prognosis, and to select patients for appropriate therapies. It also includes identification and development of biomarker tests of response and resistance that will guide continuation or modification of treatment. 

Cancer therapeutics involves a multi-faceted approach to driving forward the treatment of cancer. Our strategy includes systemic and biological therapies, radiotherapy, surgery and an expansion of our clinical trial activities in immunotherapy into a range of tumours beyond melanoma and renal cancer. Phase I a/b and II trials will be conducted from tissue and blood which will be stored as routine where possible in order to support further correlative research.

Personalised cancer treatment

The Royal Marsden and the ICR have led globally in personalised cancer treatment for many years, and taking this to the next level is one of the main focuses of our research strategy. We have a history of publishing high-impact research from this cohesive approach.

In 2013/14 the BRC grant supported 332 academic studies and leveraged industry support for a further 213 commercially sponsored studies. More than 10,400 patients were recruited to studies led by the BRC or that it was participating in. More than £50million of external funding was leveraged which included governmental funding, charity and industry grants. Some 282 peer-reviewed publications were generated (original research and review articles) through BRC-funded research.