The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the world’s most influential cancer research organisations.

Scientists and clinicians at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) are working every day to make a real impact on cancer patients’ lives. Through its unique partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach, the ICR is able to create and deliver results in a way that other institutions cannot. Together the two organisations are rated in the top four centres for cancer research and treatment globally.

The ICR has an outstanding record of achievement dating back more than 100 years. It provided the first convincing evidence that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer, laying the foundation for the now universally accepted idea that cancer is a genetic disease. Today it is a world leader at identifying cancer-related genes and discovering new targeted drugs for personalised cancer treatment.

The ICR is a charity and relies on support from partner organisations, funders, and the general public. A member institution of the University of London, it is one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions, placing first for biological sciences and second overall in the definitive REF 2021 rankings of UK university research quality, impact and environment, and provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction.

The ICR’s mission is to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.

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Professor Kristian Helin, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

“We are delighted to join UK Health Data Research Alliance alongside many other leading UK healthcare and research organisations. This alliance empowers UK scientists to drive scientific progress and innovation in healthcare through best-practice, ethical use of health data, and our membership will enhance our ability to make data-driven advances for people with or at risk of developing cancer.

“With us, we bring a rich breast cancer dataset, from the Generations Study – a long term project run by The Institute of Cancer Research and funded by Breast Cancer Now – which has provided many insights into the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to breast cancer. We are excited to see more of the scientific community unlock the potential of this dataset and help drive advances in prevention, early detection and treatment of breast cancer.”


The Generations Study is following a prospective cohort of 110,000 UK women recruited in 2004-2009 to better understand the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Participants are followed up with repeated questionnaires every few years, and linkages to electronic medical records, cancer and death registrations. Additional information from participants includes genotyping data from blood samples, breast tissue material, mammographic images, and physical activity accelerometer data.

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