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Our achievements

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is the second-ranked academic research centre in the UK - according to the Times Higher Education league table of university research quality and impact compiled from the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) - and first for biological sciences. 

The ICR has been carrying out world-leading research into the causes of cancer, and how it might be treated or prevented, for more than 100 years. Together with our hospital partner The Royal Marsden, we are one of the top centres in the world for cancer research and treatment.

We have made game-changing discoveries that revolutionised the way cancer is studied and treated. We were the first to provide evidence that DNA damage causes cancer, and the first in Europe to develop chemotherapeutic agents, some of which are still in use more than 50 years later.

We discover more new cancer drugs than any other academic centre in the world. Since 2005 we have discovered 21 cancer drug candidates, progressed 12 drugs into clinical trials, and had abiraterone, a pioneering prostate cancer drug, approved by NICE for use in the NHS.

Queen's Anniversary PrizeQueen's Anniversary Prize logo

In November 2017 we were recognised with the highly prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for our pre-eminent work in cancer drug discovery with benefits to patients globally.

The prize is presented to universities and colleges judged to be outstanding with respect to excellence, innovation and tangible beneficial effects in the wider world

Awarded every two years, the prize will be presented to the ICR in February 2018 at a ceremony to be held at Buckingham Palace.

Academic excellence

The ICR is also the second-leading academic research centre in the UK. We ranked second in the Times Higher Education league table for performance in the last Research Excellence Framework. We are the leading academic institution in the UK in biological sciences and third in terms of the impact our research makes on wider society.

The ICR is focused on taking our research results to patients as quickly as possible. We work with biotech, pharmaceutical and other companies to develop new treatments for patients, and are amongst the most successful universities in the UK at generating invention income from our discoveries – income which we invest back into our research.