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Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre

The Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre receives most of its funding from its parent charity Breast Cancer Now, and was opened in 1999 by Breast Cancer Now's Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.


The Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre is housed in the Mary-Jean Mitchell Green Building at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and is based within the ICR’s Division of Breast Cancer Research.

After Bill Freedman lost his wife, Toby Robins, to breast cancer in 1986, he and his family worked on the idea of a dedicated breast cancer research centre with the centre’s founding director, Professor Barry Gusterson. Their aim was to bring scientists and clinicians together to develop a multidisciplinary approach to tackling breast cancer.

Under the guidance of Professor Andrew Tutt, the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at the ICR now houses over 120 scientists and clinicians in 10 teams, working on a coordinated research programme.

Researchers at the centre lead important study programmes to understand the genetic and environmental causes of breast cancer, and how a tumour’s molecular biology and surrounding microenvironment affect its behaviour and response to treatment.

They are also working on identifying new therapeutic approaches to breast cancer, and understanding the mechanisms tumours use in becoming resistant to treatment. Researchers at the centre work closely with clinicians at The Royal Marsden to ensure their study findings are taken rapidly to the clinic.

Division of Breast Cancer Research

The division is focused on understanding causes of breast cancer, so we can improve diagnosis and discover new targets for cancer therapies.