2023 in review – your incredible impact on cancer treatment and care at The Royal Marsden this year

2023 has been full of important breakthroughs for cancer research and initiatives for improving patient care. Take a look back at some of the highlights achieved thanks to our remarkable supporters this year.

Money raised by our supporters means The Royal Marsden can make a vital difference to life-saving research, enable hospital teams to provide world-leading treatment and care, invest in the latest equipment, and fund modern patient environments. 

Explore a round-up of key Royal Marsden moments from 2023, thanks to your generous support. 

A new era at The Royal Marsden – opening of the Oak Cancer Centre 

His Royal Highness Prince William dressed smartly in a suit walking out of large glass sliding doors of the Oak Cancer Centre

What is probably the biggest news of 2023 – the Oak Cancer Centre was officially opened! The new research and treatment facility was made possible by the incredible supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, raising over £70 million.

The centre will enable clinicians to diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage and has been designed to enhance patients’ experience while undergoing treatment. 

The head and shoulders of a woman sitting on a hospital chair, receiving chemotherapy

Nilly Noowe, a breast cancer patient receiving chemotherapy in the Oak Cancer Centre’s Olayan Day Care Unit, said:

The Olayan Day Care Unit is amazing – it feels so spacious and very comfortable. I think it is very important to have a nice environment when you are having treatment, it makes a big difference to your mood.

Read more about this world-class treatment centre.

Breakthroughs in cancer research 2023 

2023 was a year of many innovative, first-of-a-kind trials that have made a significant impact on cancer research – from improving early diagnosis to harnessing the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

An example of this was the practice-changing PACE-B trial: 

Cutting radiotherapy treatment time by 75%

A smartly-dressed Royal Marsden doctor with a lanyard, standing next to a large white machine with a robotic arm

In October, a ground-breaking trial revealed that people whose prostate cancer had not spread can be treated with just five sessions of higher-dose stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) – an advanced type of radiotherapy that can be carried out with a CyberKnife machine.  

For some, this could mean a reduction in treatment times from 4–8 weeks, to two weeks or less, enabling people to get back to their normal lives faster, with high rates of success. Read more about the breakthrough PACE B trial.

Explore more of the innovative research trials at The Royal Marsden throughout 2023:

Read the blogs!

  • TRAK-ER study: Blood tests may prevent relapse in breast cancer patients
  • Integrated Pathology Unit: England’s first Integrated Pathology Unit opens at The Royal Marsden
  • TRACC part C trial: Blood test could prevent unnecessary chemotherapy in colorectal cancer patients
  • LIBRA study: New artificial intelligence (AI) model could improve lung cancer early diagnosis 
  • Dr Chong's research: Pioneering research helps more rectal cancer patients avoid invasive surgery
  • PACE-A study: CyberKnife success in prostate cancer study
  • SIGNIFIED study: Nina's story – How The Royal Marsden is improving early diagnosis
  • RADSARC-R study: AI twice as accurate as biopsy at grading aggressiveness of some sarcomas

New initiatives for world-leading cancer care and support 

Mental health has been championed by The Royal Marsden this year in more ways than one: 

UK’s first course to support people with ‘chemo brain’ 

A man standing in a garden of wild flowers

Funded by supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, staff at The Royal Marsden developed ‘Emerging from the Haze’ – a therapist-led programme for people experiencing cancer-related memory loss and lack of focus. The course was hugely beneficial for patients like Peter, who are undergoing treatment at The Royal Marsden:

I will continue to use the strategies from this programme, as they are so helpful in improving my quality of life.

Read more about Emerging from the Haze.

New wellbeing app for teenage and young adult cancer patients 

Lauren TYA app

In 2023 patients and clinicians from The Royal Marsden had an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Careology. Funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, the app they developed provides personalised and age-specific content for young people with cancer.

Topics included symptoms, body image, nutrition and managing anxiety, in the form of peer-to-peer tips and advice articles, poems and recipes.  

Read more about this new wellbeing app.

Always on a learning curve: Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowships  

And finally, throughout the year we have been hearing about the incredible work of our Pre-Doctoral Research Fellows. Funded by supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowships allow nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals to carry out a one or two-year research project to deliver improvements for cancer patients. 


A patient sitting in a hospital room talking to two healthcare professionals who are smiling and listening to them intently

Jurga – a Clinical Pharmacist – has been undertaking a two-year fellowship that is improving the way we talk to patients about cancer treatments. She says:

We may see patients for whom English isn’t their first language, or other patients who don’t have the confidence to ask questions if they are unsure about their chemotherapy regimen. We have a diverse population of patients and we want to ensure that information about cancer treatments is relayed to all in a way that they understand.

Read more about our Fellows’ research projects that are helping to make a difference for cancer patients. 

Here’s to 2024!

We will never stop looking for ways to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. As 2023 draws to a close, we are incredibly thankful to you – our wonderful supporters – for what you have helped us to achieve. 

Find out more about ways you can support us in 2024.  

Have a happy New Year! 


Make a donation to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity