Wed. May 18th, 2022

Her Royal Highness Princess Royal has officially opened the Center for Cancer Drug Discovery and toured the center to learn more about its work to overcome the cancer’s ability to develop and become resistant to treatment.

Researchers at the groundbreaking center at the Sutton site of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, aim to discover new types of treatment that can make it possible to control cancer in the long run and ultimately cure it.

The Center for Cancer Drug Discovery at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) houses the world’s first ‘Darwinist’ drug discovery program – covering a range of exciting projects focusing on finding new ways to fight cancer.

Her Royal Highness was greeted at the new building yesterday (Thursday) by the newly appointed CEO of ICR, Professor Kristian Helin, and the President of ICR, Professor Julia Buckingham.

Her Royal Highness heard from researchers from a variety of disciplines, including biologists, chemists, clinicians, computational scientists and evolutionary experts, all working together at ICR’s Center for Cancer Drug Discovery. They showed Her Royal Highness some of the building’s groundbreaking equipment and demonstrated how this helps them make groundbreaking discoveries that will lead to more and better medicines for cancer patients.

The Center for Cancer Drug Discovery is state-of-the-art and brings together around 300 leading researchers in a collaborative area with a central goal – to overcome cancer drug resistance so that people with cancer can live longer, healthier lives and ultimately be cured of their disease.

Cancer develops and adapts to its environment and treatment, which can make it resistant to the therapies designed to kill it. This is the biggest challenge for cancer researchers and clinicians. Cancer cells in a patient who may have initially responded well to treatment may detect mutations that allow them to avoid being killed by a drug or therapy – and the tumor then stops responding and begins to grow and spread. again.

The Center for Cancer Drug Discovery spans 7,300 square feet and costs £ 75 million. – a large part of it comes from donations to ICR, which is both a research institute and a charity. Her Royal Highness saw some of the new biology, chemistry and computational laboratories — as well as the crucial meeting rooms and collaborative hubs that encourage creativity and interdisciplinary work.

As part of the visit, Her Royal Highness also met some major donors whose support has helped fund the new building and unveiled a plaque commemorating the official opening of the new center. The ICR continues to seek philanthropic support to further care for the building and ensure that the researchers working within it are as well-equipped as possible so that they can make their discoveries faster.

Her Royal Highness last visited the ICR’s Sutton campus to open another cancer research center, the Brookes Lawley Building in 2003.

ICR’s hospital partner, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, is located next door at the Sutton site. This partnership helps promote better treatments for cancer patients by taking the results of groundbreaking research from the laboratory into the clinic.

In addition, Sutton is home to The London Cancer Hub – a collaboration between the London Borough of Sutton and the ICR – and the center is one of its flagship buildings. The London Cancer Hub, when completed, will enhance researchers’ ability to collaborate with industry to bring their discoveries to the market where they can benefit people with cancer.

Professor Kristian Helin, Executive Director of the Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

“It has been an honor to welcome Her Royal Highness back to ICR and share the exciting advances we have made in cancer research since the last visit almost two decades ago.
“As world leaders in this field, we have discovered 20 cancer drug candidates and developed 11 drugs for clinical trials since 2005, and the ICR-discovered drug abirateron is now used as the standard treatment for advanced prostate cancer worldwide. But there is still much more to be done to make cancer a manageable long-term disease and one that can be cured more often so that patients can live longer and with a better quality of life.
“Our groundbreaking Center for Cancer Medical Discovery marks our unwavering commitment to making the discoveries that defeat cancer, and today’s official opening marks an important milestone in our journey to tackle this disease and bring hope to future generations.”

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