The Paterson cancer research centre

In 2018, The University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK and The Christie, announced plans for the future of the Paterson building site at The Christie on Wilmslow Road.

World-leading scientists, clinicians and operational staff have now moved into the new £150m cancer research centre at The Christie’s site on Wilmslow Road in Withington. The building is part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre and will be one of the top cancer research centres in the world.

Together, a multidisciplinary team of scientists, researchers, clinicians, and operational staff – practising what is known as ‘team science’ – will deliver clinical trials covering the full extent of the patient pathway, from prevention and novel treatments to living with and beyond cancer.

The new research centre replaces a previous building that was severely damaged in a fire 6 years ago. It is directly connected to The Christie hospital, allowing cells and samples from patients to be taken to the research lab in a matter of minutes. The ambition is to foster collaboration, double the number of patients benefitting from clinical trials by 2030 and ultimately improve outcomes and survival rates.

A central component of the building is the new Cancer Research UK Cancer Biomarker Centre, which will be situated on the third floor. The Cancer Biomarker Centre’s focus will be on biomarkers – genes, proteins and other cancer-associated molecules – to aid in early cancer detection and diagnosis, and biomarkers that enable personalised management of a patient’s cancer, to determine which therapy will bring the most benefit.

The centre will be Manchester’s scientific headquarters for the Alliance for Early Cancer Detection and will also house a team focused on global genomics, or how cancer presents differently in people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The Christie is the largest provider of radiotherapy in the NHS, and the new research centre will be home to a Cancer Research UK RadNet-supported programme that’s looking at, among other things, how the immune system can be harnessed to improve radiotherapy cures. It will also house an Academy of Surgical Oncology, something very few cancer centres have.

The centre complements the partnership’s team science in the neighbouring Oglesby Cancer Research Building (OCRB). It will help increase the critical mass of research activity on The Christie site, but it will also be home to the Cancer Research UK Cancer Biomarker Centre and the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.

Last updated: May 2023