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Biomedical Research Centre

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research is the only BRC to specifically focus on cancer. Its aim is to drive pioneering, translational and clinical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, with the aim of taking those research findings and using them to benefit patients as quickly as possible.

Close up of  The Royal Marsden, Chelsea, 2015

In 2007, the NIHR awarded The Royal Marsden and the ICR £12 million per year over five years as one of the original 12 BRCs. The award followed a competitive international peer review process, in which the ICR was the only BRC applicant to have over 10% of the top-cited research papers in oncology. The Royal Marsden and the ICR successfully renewed BRC funding in 2012 and again in 2016.

Our BRC helps fund and support innovative translational research, which means taking leading-edge cancer research from the laboratory and rapidly translating it into clinical trials in a hospital setting. Clinical research also feeds back into the laboratory and allows new discoveries to be made. This means we are able to efficiently develop new treatments and therapies for patients. Our patients and members of the public are fundamental in helping us shape our research priorities.

In order to provide a seamless and efficient translation of biomedical research into patient benefit, the BRC for cancer research focuses on eight research themes.

The cancer genetics and molecular pathology themes help to develop a better understanding of the risk factors for cancer.

When it comes to treating diseases, the cancer imaging, cancer therapeutics, radiotherapy and clinical studies themes investigate more effective personalised treatments for cancer.

Finally, the breast cancer and prostate cancer research themes aim to accelerate the development of better diagnoses and treatments for the most common cancers in women and men.