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Finished symphony marks a new era of drug discovery

Last year we teamed up with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) to create an ‘unfinished symphony’ for cancer research – to raise funds to complete our revolutionary new research building.

Our new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery is the first of its kind to host hundreds of scientists from different disciplines under one roof to lead an unprecedented ‘Darwinian’ research programme. Here we aim to overcome cancer’s ability to evolve resistance to drugs and transform cancer into a manageable disease that can be controlled long term and effectively cured.

Now that we have finished and officially opened the building, we can take exciting steps towards finishing cancer. But we still need your support to equip the building - to get our research in the new Centre off to the best possible start. 

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Watch ‘Let’s Finish It’ – a beautiful new piece of contemporary classical music, which is now the anthem for the new Centre

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We commissioned Callum Morton-Huseyin, a 27-year-old emerging contemporary classical composer, to create this original piece of music that could be released in two parts, and for Britain’s national orchestra, the RPO, to perform it. 

Entitled ‘Let’s Finish It’, the symphony originally cut to an abrupt silence three quarters of the way through, as a musical metaphor for the unfinished state of the building and the ongoing challenge to defeat cancer.

The music reflects the progress of the pioneering Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery – where we aim to overcome cancer’s ability to evolve resistance to drugs with the world’s first ‘anti-evolution’ drug discovery programme. 

A unique anthem for a unique building

The different phrases of the finished symphony, which is now the official anthem for the new Centre, reflect our efforts to understand the ways in which cancers adapt and evolve. The ebbs and flows of the music mirroring the highs and lows in cancer research, and as the piece moves on, the music becomes increasingly positive and uplifting. 

The score for the remaining quarter of the symphony, which was written after the original piece of music was released, is inspired by the completion of the Centre, the efforts of our scientists and researchers to outsmart cancer’s evolution and our steps forward towards defeating the disease. 

The new Centre officially opened on 17th November, and the piece of music has finally been completed and released to the public for the first time. 

Callum Morton-Huseyin

“I am immensely proud to share the final instalment of my score. I have been incredibly inspired by the stories of all of the amazing medical and research professionals who work tirelessly every day to defeat cancer. It was a real joy to return to pay tribute to the great work of the ICR, but also to celebrate the building reaching its fundraising goal and seeing everything come to fruition. I know that they will continue to inspire my work long into the future.”
– Callum Morton-Huseyin, Composer


Professor Andrea Sottoriva

“The opening of the new Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery was an incredibly proud and profound day for the ICR and future of cancer drug discovery. And now hearing the finished symphony, complete in its entirety, only furthers that sense of pride. The ebbs and flows of the music perfectly capture the highs and lows of cancer research, but above all the drive and sense of optimism we have for the pioneering discoveries to come from the new building.”

– Professor Andrea Sottoriva, Director of Cancer Evolution in the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery


Help us finish cancer

We’re excited by the promise of this wonderful new facility. The new Centre offers new hope to cancer patients, many of whom are now more vulnerable than ever, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This finished symphony is a symbol of that endeavour and hope. 

Please donate today – and let’s finish cancer together.

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Cancer's last note Discovery verses Pipette painting marks pioneering cancer research Finished symphony marks a new era of cancer drug discovery

Help fund exciting programme of research in our new Centre

Our researchers have now moved in to the Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery to start their urgent work on creating more and better drugs for cancer patients.

NEWS: ICR launches ‘Let’s finish it’ campaign for Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery

We have revealed our plans for one of the world’s most important buildings for the discovery of revolutionary cancer treatments. In this truly collaborative environment and through our ‘Darwinian’ drug discovery programme, we aim to create more and better drugs for cancer patients and overcome the problem of cancer evolution and drug resistance.