The impact our Marsden Marchers make  

Marsden Marchers

Since The Marsden March began in 2011 our walkers have raised over
£8.2 million to support the latest in cancer research, diagnosis, treatment and care at The Royal Marsden. 

Thank you so much to everyone that has taken part in The Marsden March. Your incredible support has enabled us to make real advances for our patients. Below are some examples of the difference your support has made over the last six years. 


Our clinical research teams are pioneering the development of many new treatments for different types of cancers, improving and saving more patients’ lives. 


New research centre

The Ralph Lauren Centre for Breast Cancer Research aims to identify the molecular differences between tumours that allow the optimal treatment to be given to breast cancer patients. Staffed by a team of world-renowned clinicians and scientists, they work with the latest technology to allow much more rapid and in-depth analysis of our patients’ disease, thereby allowing patients to live longer with a lower chance of their cancer returning, as well as reducing side effects.


Fluorescent ink tattoos

Breast cancer patients often require dark ink tattoos to enable their targeted radiotherapy position to be accurately reproduced during the course of treatment. These visible references act as a continuing reminder of their treatment and can cause psychological distress. Many therefore choose to have laser removal of their tattoos or refuse tattoos altogether, compromising the accuracy of their radiotherapy. Our study investigated using fluorescent ink tattoos, which are only visible in ultraviolet light, instead. It found treatment accuracy was not compromised, which led to the implementation of fluorescent tattoos into routine clinical practice at The Royal Marsden, so patients can now have invisible markings.


Our investment in equipment and facilities is delivering faster and more accurate diagnostic tests than ever before, resulting in ever more personalised treatments for patients. 

The latest MRI scanners 

The two state-of-the-art MRI scanners at The Reuben Foundation Imaging Centre have expanded our MRI capacity in Chelsea. They also offer our diagnostic team clinical flexibility. The 1.5T MRI scanner has a larger field of view and is suitable for the development of whole-body imaging. In contrast, the 3T MRI scanner provides incredible detail, allowing us to undertake clinical research trials that require this level of visual clarity. The combination of the two scanners also allows us to develop personalised treatment plans and produce exceptionally clear images of patients’ tumours, leading to more accurate diagnosis. The rooms themselves have also been designed so patients feel less confined and more relaxed during their scans.


Translational Genetics Laboratory

Genetic testing is a powerful tool that will transform the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Our Translational Genetics Laboratory allows patients like Clare to benefit from the latest genetic tests, enabling us to better diagnose their cancer and to develop more personalised and effective treatment plans. Initially focusing on breast and ovarian cancer patients, as these are known to have a high prevalence of causal genes that determine effective treatment, our aim is for all patients at The Royal Marsden to receive a genetic test as part of their diagnosis. 


Our funding of technology and pioneering equipment is allowing us to give patients access to the very best treatment options that are kinder and more effective.


A state-of-the-art piece of radiotherapy equipment, CyberKnife enables us to deliver high doses of radiotherapy with pin point accuracy. Using a robotic arm, CyberKnife treats tumours by delivering multiple doses of highly concentrated radiation beams from almost any angle around the body with 0.5mm accuracy. This has two benefits – it minimises the side effects of treatment as the number of healthy cells affected is greatly reduced. It also enables us to reduce the number of radiotherapy appointments a patient needs, as larger doses can be delivered each time. 

The Centre for Molecular Pathology

A world-class facility, The Centre for Molecular Pathology, brings together clinicians, geneticists, pathologists and scientist together under one roof. Working side by side, they are able to better understand different tumour types and the most effective way to treat them. When using molecular diagnosis, treatment can be tailored to suit individual patients’ needs rather than using the traditional one-size-fits-all approach of conventional chemotherapy.


Our environments are peaceful and staff place the highest importance on patient dignity and care, so patients feel comfortable and reassured throughout their treatment. 

Patient wards

Charity funding has been essential to the refurbishment of wards, so that our patients can receive their treatment and care in a comfortable and dignified environment. For example, Horder Ward in Chelsea was renovated to help create a palliative care environment with en-suite enhanced single rooms, discreet consultation rooms and a day room for patients and their visitors, all set in light and airy surroundings.

Family Support Service 

The Family Support Service provides psychological support for adult cancer patients who are parents of children under 18 years. The service is integrated into a patient’s treatment so that they have a place to come with their children and talk to a clinical psychologist about the challenges they are experiencing as a family and develop ways to better communicate with each other. This is the only service of its kind in the UK. 


We need your continued support so we can fund the pioneering work of The Royal Marsden and help even more cancer patients have better outcomes.

Walk with us in 2018 and help us to get closer to a future beyond cancer.