Super Surgeons - A Chance at Life
A new Channel 4 documentary follows eight Royal Marsden patients with advanced or relapsed cancers who are preparing for innovative surgery.
Available now on 4 On Demand.
Our surgical team has been under the spotlight for almost a year, with a documentary crew filming a three-part series at the hospital.
The primetime series follows eight Royal Marsden patients and the highly skilled ‘super surgeons’ performing high stakes operations to help save their lives. The work of The Royal Marsden’s surgeons is the focus of the series because of their world-leading reputation for pioneering surgical techniques that offer hope to patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.
Your support today is vital to ensure we can continue to change the lives of people with cancer.
The series highlights the critical difference that support for our work can make to cancer patients at The Royal Marsden and beyond.
Whilst at The Royal Marsden, patients are supported in every aspect of their journey. World-class clinicians, using state-of-the-art equipment in purpose-built facilities enable patients to receive personalised treatment and care, much of which is funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
Within the three-part docuseries, viewers follow Royal Marsden surgeons as they work with their patients to navigate the complex choices and the vulnerable experiences of advanced cancer treatment. The series highlights the incredible standard of care patients receive at the hospital including:
Ground-breaking robotic surgery in the state-of-the-art Wolfson Surgical Suite.
Life-saving care at the Charity funded 16 bed Critical Care Unit (CCU).
Diagnostic imaging at the Charity funded Reuben Foundation Imaging Centre.
This ground-breaking work would not be possible without the vital funds raised by the generous supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
Each year, we need to raise £30m to fund the novel technologies and world leading surgical research that will change the lives of cancer patients at The Royal Marsden, across the UK and around the world.
Surgeons in the spotlight
Five Royal Marsden surgeons feature across the three episodes - Professor Vinidh Paleri, Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon, Ms Marielle Nobbenhuis, Consultant Gynaecological Surgeon, Mr Andrew Hayes and Mr Dirk Strauss, both Consultant General Surgeons in the Sarcoma and Skin units, and Mr Ricky Bhogal, Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon, all appear in the series.
Professor Vinidh Paleri, Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon (left), features in all three episodes of the Super Surgeons series, performing highly complex robotic surgery procedures. Professor Paleri said:
"We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, whose funding has enabled The Royal Marsden to become the most comprehensive centre for robotic cancer surgery in the UK."
The Royal Marsden sees patients referred from hospitals across the UK for complex surgical procedures using state-of-the-art technologies, such as the da Vinci Xi robot. Since 2015, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity has funded two da Vinci Xi robots at The Royal Marsden; one through donations from our supporters, and another through a generous gift from the late philanthropist Don McCarthy and his children.
Saving lives by training robotic surgeons of the future.
The dual consoles of the da Vinci Xi also mean The Royal Marsden can run the Charity funded Robotic Surgery Fellowship, the only one of its kind in the UK. To date, seven surgeons have completed the training and are now delivering this specialist treatment in hospitals across the UK and Europe.
Learn more about robotic cancer surgery, the Da Vinci Robots and the Robotic Surgery Fellowship Programme in our recent Q&A with Professor Paleri.
Melissa features in Episode 3 of the series.
Melissa was referred to The Royal Marsden in January this year after being under the care of another hospital. At The Royal Marsden, she received treatment for uterine leiomyosarcoma, under the care of Ms Nobbenhuis. She said: “After meeting Ms Nobbenhuis for the first time, I thought she was amazing. She told me I needed a full hysterectomy, which was quite difficult to hear, but she explained it so well. I felt like I was in safe hands, and she really put me at ease."
“When I was asked about filming for the documentary, I thought it would be one good thing that I could do to help others. I was diagnosed late and thought sharing my story could help other women."
Learn more about Melissa and the other patients who feature in the documentary.
Your support helps the teams at The Royal Marsden go even further for people with cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is Super Surgeons - A chance at life on TV?
The first episode airs on Channel 4, on July 18 at 10pm, The next two episodes will be airing on 25 July and 1 August at 10pm. All three episodes are also available on demand on All 4 from July 18.