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Topping out ceremony marks milestone for The Royal Marsden and the ICR



Wednesday 30 November 2011



Progress on The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research’s (ICR) new Centre for Molecular Pathology in Sutton, Surrey, has reached a major milestone with a topping out ceremony this week.


Professors Stephen Johnston and Stan Kaye of The Royal Marsden and the ICR tapped in the final block at the highest level of the building to complete its frame and were then presented with a commemorative gift by the building’s contractor Osborne.


The new centre will help advance cancer research and treatment. It will include four laboratory suites over two floors as well as support facilities with state-of-the-art equipment selected to meet exacting performance specifications and to provide flexibility for future changes in clinical procedure.


Professor Stephen Johnston, Clinical Director for Research and Development at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research said: “At The Royal Marsden and the ICR we are leading the way in providing patients with routine molecular diagnosis which help identify which patients will benefit from which therapies. This exciting new facility will drive a move towards personalised medicine. It will bring scientists, pathologists, geneticists and clinicians together to continue working to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This is an incredibly exciting time for cancer research, with the prospect of significant improvements in patient care.”


Family-owned building contractor, civil engineering and property services firm Osborne is constructing the new facility after securing the project following a competitive bidding process. Work on the £18 million, 3,500 sq m reinforced concrete frame building started in April and is expected to be completed in summer next year.



Elizabeth Smith, head of Osborne’s healthcare team said: “A quick and efficient build process is key to the project’s success so we’re using prefabricated service modules to simplify and speed up the site installation. And as well as providing state-of-the-art facilities, the centre is set to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating with sustainable features including a Building Management System and photovoltaic panels.”



Media Contact: ICR Science Communications Manager Jane Bunce on 0207 153 5106 or after hours 077217 47900

Notes to editors:

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

  • The ICR is Europe’s leading cancer research centre
  • The ICR has been ranked the UK’s top academic research centre, based on the results of the Higher Education Funding Council’s Research Assessment Exercise
  • The ICR works closely with partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to ensure patients immediately benefit from new research. Together the two organisations form the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe
  • The ICR has charitable status and relies on voluntary income
  • As a college of the University of London, the ICR also provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction
  • Over its 100-year history, the ICR’s achievements include identifying the potential link between smoking and lung cancer which was subsequently confirmed, discovering that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer and isolating more cancer-related genes than any other organisation in the world
  • The ICR is home to the world’s leading academic cancer drug development team. Several important anti-cancer drugs used worldwide were synthesised at the ICR and it has discovered an average of two preclinical candidates each year over the past five years.

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The Royal Marsden opened its doors in 1851 as the world’s first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education.

Today, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), it is the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre in Europe treating over 44,000 patients every year.  It is a centre of excellence with an international reputation for groundbreaking research and pioneering the very latest in cancer treatments and technologies. The Royal Marsden also provides community services in the London boroughs of Sutton and Merton and in June 2010, along with the ICR, the Trust launched a new academic partnership with Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Middlesex. 

Since 2004, the hospital’s charity, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, has helped raise over £50 million to build theatres, diagnostic centres, and drug development units. Prince William became President of The Royal Marsden in 2007, following a long royal connection with the hospital.

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Osborne is one of the UK's leading family-owned construction, civil engineering and property services businesses, with expertise in delivering projects for our clients in affordable homes, civic & amenities, education healthcare, commercial, civil engineering, rail, airports and property services sectors. Founded in 1966 by civil engineer Geoffrey Osborne, the company employs over 900 people across seven offices in the southern half of the UK and turned over £287 million in its last financial year.

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