£160 million Cancer Centre opens at Guy's Hospital
A new £160 million Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, which has been designed by patients for patients, opens today.
The first outpatient clinics will be held in the new building this week with chemotherapy treatment starting next Monday (3 October) and radiotherapy treatment due to start on 7 November, as part of a phased opening.
The new Cancer Centre also brings together treatment and research in an Innovation Hub, which will transform King’s College London’s translational cancer research programme, enabling us to carry out more specialised research on different types of cancer.
Working alongside clinicians, King’s researchers will analyse patients’ conditions to better predict and monitor responses and assess resistance to treatment, enabling us to stratify patients, develop more personalised medicine and help design better therapies and drugs. The Hub will also introduce new treatments through research-led trials, enabling us to increase the number of South London cancer patients registering for clinical trials and through our hub-based analytics improve the chances of successful implementation.
Our breast cancer biobank dates back to 1975 and the availability of tissue from this source has been invaluable for many national and international research studies. The volume and ethnic diversity of our patient population means we are uniquely placed to collect data about a range of cancers. The Hub will provide much-needed space and opportunity to consent patients and collect and store samples. Along with gathering more data on breast and prostate cancers, we are expanding our biobank to include tissues from other tumour types where survival rates have remained static for decades: lung, upper-gastrointestinal, and head and neck cancers.
Tumour metastasis is the most common cause of death in cancer patients and we need to increase our understanding of the genetic changes that program cancer cells to move from the primary tumour site, survive and grow as secondary tumours in distant organs and gain insight into how these changes induce a permissive environment in which the tumour can thrive. Embedding our research into the patient pathway will enable us to study molecular changes over longer periods of time, to help shape current and future treatments.
Professor Peter Parker, Head of the Division of Cancer Studies at King's College London, says: ‘Expanding our Experimental Medicine Programme will enable us to grow our capabilities in designing and conducting clinical trials for new treatments.
‘Our vision is for the Innovation Hub to cross-fertilise ideas between researchers and clinicians so that potentially impactful discoveries can be advanced rapidly and successful approaches for one cancer type can be tested quickly in others.’
Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Vice Principal (Health) of King’s College London, and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre adds: ‘Having clinicians and researchers working side by side will allow us to speed up the journey from discoveries in our laboratories and early clinical trials right through to innovative new treatments and therapies in our clinics. By doing this, we will continue to improve the physical and mental health outcomes and experience of cancer care for our patients.
Transforming cancer care
Dr Majid Kazmi, Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: ‘It is fantastic to welcome the first patients to our new Cancer Centre. Today is the culmination of more than 10 years of planning and working in partnership with our patients to create a building to transform cancer care.’
The new Cancer Centre at Guy’s brings together most treatment under one roof – previously cancer care was provided in 13 different locations in eight different buildings on the St Thomas’ and Guy’s sites.
It is the first cancer centre in Europe to provide radiotherapy treatment above ground level after patients said this would make a huge difference to them.
Largely funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, the Cancer Centre at Guy’s was made possible by a grant of £25 million from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and a £15 million grant awarded to King’s College London from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (managed by the Higher Education Funding Council) for the Innovation Hub.
The charity Dimbleby Cancer Care will provide a range of information and support services for cancer patients and their families in the Cancer Centre’s Welcome Village, including a drop-in information service, welfare benefits advice, psychological support, complementary therapies, and the provision of Dimbleby pillows for cancer patients and their families.
Jonathan Dimbleby, Chair of Dimbleby Cancer Care, says: “Our charity has endowed more than £2 million to the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s so this is a very exciting day for us. It is wonderful to see the last few years of everyone’s hard work come to fruition. We are looking forward to opening our new home inside the Cancer Centre next month and welcoming the first patients.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity also provided a grant of £1.7 million for an arts programme – no NHS funds have been spent on this aspect of the project.
Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, says: ‘The opening of the landmark Cancer Centre at Guy’s represents a huge leap in the journey to transform cancer treatment, care and research here at Guy’s and St Thomas’.
‘Having cancer is something one in two of us will face at some point in our lifetime. Our support, and other generous donations, have enabled the Cancer Centre to be equipped with the very latest in technology, funded a varied and inspiring arts programme, and brought most cancer services under one roof.’
Notes to editors
For further information please visit the Cancer Centre website
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