One year on: a spotlight on the Oak Cancer Centre

Patients and staff mark the Oak Cancer Centre’s one-year anniversary by sharing their experiences of this world-class treatment and research facility, funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

It’s been one year since the opening of the incredible Oak Cancer Centre in Sutton. Funded by the supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s £70 million Oak Cancer Centre appeal, the state-of-the-art research and treatment facility will help advance the development of new treatments, offering hope for cancer patients worldwide.

Exterior view of the Oak Cancer Centre

The future of cancer research  

The Oak Cancer Centre brings together more than 400 researchers under the same roof as patients and clinicians, which is pivotal to the hospital’s ambitious research efforts and helping to speed up the discovery of new treatments: “I love working in the Oak Cancer Centre. I work across different sites and look forward to my days there. The environment supports team building, camaraderie and collaboration between researchers from different tumour specialities” says Dr Andrew Furness, Consultant Medical Oncologist who is part-funded by the Charity.  

Head and shoulders of a man dressed smartly in a black suit jacket, white shirt and green patterned tie. He is smiling and sitting in a medical room in The Royal Marsden, with nurses in the background.
Dr Andrew Furness, Consultant Medical Oncologist working in immunotherapy.

Dr Furness leads the hospital’s research on cellular therapy in solid tumours. This emerging form of immunotherapy uses T cells (an infection-fighting immune cell) to target cancer – an exciting field of research that has the potential to transform the way several cancers are treated.  

“I can’t help but be moved when I see the names of supporters who have generously contributed to the building. It’s a reminder that our work is valued – and this motivates me, not only in my research, but also in efforts to deliver a standard of excellence for every patient.” 

Transforming patient care at The Royal Marsden 

The Olayan Day Care Unit inside the Oak Cancer Centre is designed to be a bright, calming and modern environment for patients like Rebecca, receiving chemotherapy as well as other supportive treatments. 

Rebecca is a breast cancer patient who has been treated at The Royal Marsden since 2022, undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She is currently on a two-year targeted therapy programme: “I have bisphosphates – a bone strengthening treatment – as an infusion in the Olayan Day Care Unit.” says Rebecca. 

A woman wearing a summery outfit and a headscarf, standing and smiling in front of some tropical plants
Rebecca, patient at The Royal Marsden

“It’s big and airy, and the chairs are well-spaced, allowing for more privacy and room for the nurses to speak to you. I have my regular blood tests in the Oak Cancer Centre too – it’s great to have this service and the Olayan Day Care Unit so close to each other.”  

“My experience of The Royal Marsden is that they are an exceptional hospital as they are very patient-led. They don’t just treat the disease; they know and recognise how frightened people can get after a cancer diagnosis and they support you through this as part of your journey too.” 

“The best possible environment” 

Angel NgitNgit is a Junior Sister in the Goldman Sachs Centre for Urgent Care – a state-of-the-art facility in the Oak Cancer Centre for people who need to be quickly assessed.

A nurse wearing a blue uniform and name badge smiling and standing in a bright, airy medical room in the Oak Cancer Centre. With a another nurse working in the background.
Angel NgitNgit, Junior Sister, in the Goldman Sachs Centre for Urgent Care, Oak Cancer Centre

“We look after patients who become unwell because of their cancer or treatment,” she says. “We’re on the same floor as the Olayan Day Care Unit, so patients needing our attention can be quickly transferred. We have detailed knowledge and understanding of treatments patients are undergoing, so we can rapidly assess and treat them, meaning patients are less likely to need to be transferred and admitted to an emergency department elsewhere.” 

“This new, purpose-built space means we can look after more patients in the best possible environment. On behalf of my patients, I am so grateful to all who made this possible.”  

Your support made the Oak Cancer Centre a reality for patients and staff at The Royal Marsden. 

Find out more about this incredible treatment and research facility

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