Rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), The Royal Marsden is ranked as one of the leading cancer centres in the world. It operates from two centres – in Chelsea, London, and in Sutton, Surrey – as well as its treatment and diagnostic facility The Royal Marsden Private Care at Cavendish Square, situated in the capital’s world-renowned healthcare district. The Royal Marsden is a centre of excellence, with an international reputation for ground-breaking research and pioneering the very latest in cancer treatments and technologies.
Together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, The Royal Marsden is Europe’s largest comprehensive cancer centre, with unrivalled cancer expertise and over 2,500 consultants who cover the rarest and most complex cases. Surgical teams at The Royal Marsden are innovators in their field, and the hospital’s radiotherapy department is one of the largest in the UK, delivering more than 75,000 treatments every year.
The Royal Marsden Private Care offers an award-winning service, having won the LaingBuisson Best Hospital Award three times. Private patients are offered additional benefits, including a hotel-style service, single ensuite rooms and direct access to their treating consultant. A specialist International Advocate Service ensures that all the needs of overseas patients are met, both from a cultural perspective and in terms of treatment and care. They work closely with a multinational team of interpreters, including a dedicated Arabic Advocate Service, which can offer one-to-one translations.
HRH The Prince of Wales has been President of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust for 15 years and regularly visits the hospital to meet with staff and patients. Earlier this year, he returned to the hospital, where he met with patients and observed a type of interventional radiology procedure available only at The Royal Marsden.
The hospital has an international research reputation, with experts revolutionising the way cancer treatment and care is provided, to help extend and
improve the lives of people with cancer in the UK and across the world. Experts regularly present at international conferences and are representatives on committees such as the European Society of Medical Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Professor James Larkin is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden and lead investigator of several translational studies into melanoma and kidney cancer. His research has been key in the field of immunotherapies, heralding new hope for patients. Thanks to his immunotherapy research, one in two patients with advanced melanoma will now survive for five years or more, with many continuing to live normal lives, cancer-free, for 10 or more years. A decade ago, people with advanced melanoma would have a life expectancy of less than a year.
Professor Larkin and his colleagues are now looking into why immunotherapy works for some, but not all, patients, and are researching emerging types of immunotherapy. For example, the Phase 2 C-144-01 trial recently showed that lifileucel, a tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, could stop or reverse the progression of advanced melanoma. More than a third of patients on the trial responded well to this innovative type of cellular immunotherapy, which uses the patient’s own T cells to fight cancer.
“These results show that TIL therapy could offer sustained benefits to some patients with advanced melanoma that can improve over time," says Professor Larkin, "which could provide a new treatment for people who currently have no other options.”
Dr Susana Banerjee, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Research Lead for The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust Gynaecology Unit, specialises in ovarian cancer and the systemic treatment of endometrial and cervical cancers. Results from the recent phase I FRAME trial, which was led by a team at The Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research, London, demonstrated that a new combination of targeted drugs for an uncommon type of ovarian cancer has shown promising results in an early clinical trial – shrinking tumours in half of patients.
Speaking about the trial results, Dr Banerjee says: “If these findings are confirmed in larger trials, they’ll represent a significant advance in low-grade serous ovarian cancer treatment. I am delighted that this drug combination has worked so well in a group of patients who are in urgent need of new treatments, including those who have previously been treated with a MEK inhibitor. We’re very hopeful that this could become the standard of care for women with low-grade serous ovarian cancer.”
Personalised care is at the heart of The Royal Marsden’s approach, and its unique multidisciplinary model ensures that cancer patients receive the highest standards of care. Up to 35 specialists – including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiotherapists, pathologists, nurses, and radiologists – attend weekly multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs) to develop personalised treatment plans for each patient.
The Royal Marsden is continually working to improve early diagnosis for patients to help save more lives. From carrying out pioneering genetic sequencing to identifying mutations that mean an individual has a higher risk of developing cancer, through to regular screenings of those with a genetic predisposition to certain cancers.
Dr Richard Lee, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Champion for Early Diagnosis at The Royal Marsden, worked with colleagues Professor Ros Eeles and Professor Stanley Kaye to open a virtual Early Diagnosis and Detection Centre last year, which aims to accelerate early diagnosis and improve outcomes for patients. In a world-first, the OCTAPUS-AI study, led by Dr Lee and supported by the Early Diagnosis and Detection Centre, compared different machine learning models – a type of artificial intelligence (AI) – to determine which could most accurately identify non-small cell lung cancer patients (NSCLC) patients at risk of recurrence following curative radiotherapy.
Results from the study suggest that AI technology could be used to help personalise and, therefore, improve the surveillance of patients following treatment based on their risk. This could lead to recurrence being detected earlier in high-risk patients, ensuring that they receive urgent treatment that could potentially improve their outcomes.
“This is an important step forward in being able to use AI to understand which patients are at highest risk of cancer recurrence, and to detect this relapse sooner so that re-treatment can be more effective," explains Dr Lee. “This study is an example of the vital scientific clinical research we’re undertaking in the Early Diagnosis and Detection Centre at The Royal Marsden. Through this work, we hope to push boundaries to improve the care of cancer patients, to help them live longer, and reduce the impact that the disease has on their lives.”
Bringing personalised care to central London, The Royal Marsden Private Care at Cavendish Square offers private patients outstanding facilities, world-class expertise and a rapid diagnostic service. Housed within an Edwardian listed building, this research-led, diagnostic, outpatient and treatment facility is part of The Royal Marsden Private Care’s service provision.
Cavendish Square opened its doors in April 2021 and, in its first year, welcomed 1,378 new outpatients from 35 countries, providing them with world-class cancer treatment and care. Ninety-eight per cent of patients recently rated the centre as excellent or very good, and 100 per
cent said they would recommend the hospital to friends and family.
Patients have fast and direct access to world-leading diagnostic and research-active consultants, who will personally oversee every aspect of their treatment plan. Experts at Cavendish Square specialise in a full range of cancer services across all the main tumour groups, with other clinical specialties offered including genetics, plastic surgery and reconstruction and pain management. The centre is also home to a minor procedure suite and a medical day unit with bespoke treatment bays, which will provide the highest level of patient-focused care for UK and overseas patients who are receiving some of the most advanced cancer treatments.
“Since Cavendish Square opened, patients from around the world have benefited from the brand-new facilities, safe in the knowledge that everything in the centre is underpinned by The Royal Marsden’s world-leading standards of cancer care,” says Shams Maladwala, Managing Director of The Royal Marsden Private Care. “Patients seeking the very best private cancer diagnostics and treatment know that we operate to the strictest safety standards and governance usually only seen in the NHS.”
Clare Kalis, 65, was one of the first patients to be seen at Cavendish Square. She has been under the care of Professor Chris Nutting, Clinical Director, The Royal Marsden Private Care at Cavendish Square, and the Head and Neck team since 2015, after she found a lump in her neck. “Check-ups are always an anxious time, but walking into Cavendish Square was reassuring and calming,” she says. “I immediately felt more at ease. It is a beautiful facility in a great location which doesn’t feel like a cancer centre at all. It is a pleasure to be under the care of Professor Nutting, as he is such a specialist in his field, and I feel very privileged to be one of his patients.”
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