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Innovative approaches

We will take on the challenge of cancer’s complexity, evolution and drug resistance through the discovery of innovative new approaches to cancer treatment.

If we are going to defeat cancer, we can’t stand still — it takes fresh thinking, cutting-edge ideas, technologies and unique approaches to overcome such a complex disease. Our scientists have already found completely new ways to target cancer, but there is so much more that we can do.

The ICR discovers more new cancer drugs than any other academic centre in the world, and we intend to build on this momentum.

We will lead an ambitious programme of drug discovery that will create new treatments that anticipate cancer’s next steps and block its evolutionary escape routes. We will harness the body’s own immune defences to recognise cancer and fight it. And we will pinpoint cancers within the body using advanced scans so that we can hit them more precisely with high-tech radiotherapy and ultrasound treatments.

We will use these approaches together in innovative combinations as we work towards achieving long-term survival and cure.

man and woman scientists embed
We need to discover new approaches to treatment designed to overcome resistance

Our researchers will:

  • discover new treatments for adults and children designed to block cancer’s ability to evolve
  • create new ways of combining drugs, radiotherapy or immunotherapy to block the paths to drug resistance
  • predict responses to treatment so we can select the best drug for a patient right from the outset
  • discover new ways of adapting therapy as a patient’s cancer changes
  • find new ways to harness our immune systems to fight cancer
  • use hi-tech imaging to help target radiotherapy and therapeutic ultrasound more precisely to benefits patients. 

Download the research strategy

Click below to download a copy of Making the discoveries: our strategy to defeat cancer

Drug Development Unit

This is a joint unit of the ICR and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The eventual goal is fully personalised medicine, with drugs exploiting the specific weaknesses of a tumour at a particular point in time.