Research achievements

Read about our latest cancer research achievements.

The Christie has a long history of achievement in cancer research and innovation. Read our latest academic journal papers, quarterly performance assessments and a timeline of our discoveries and breakthroughs over the last 100 years.

Academic publications

Research completed at The Christie is written up as papers and published in academic journals. Read the latest papers in our publications repository. [Link opens in a new window]

Performance in clinical research   

We are assessed quarterly for performance by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) along with all other providers of research services to the NHS. We are assessed against 2 measures - Initiating Clinical Research assesses how quickly research studies and trials are set up. Delivering Clinical Research, or ‘time and target’, assesses whether the target number of patients have been recruited in the specified timeframe.

For Initiating Clinical Research, please see our latest performance assessment: 

For Delivering Clinical Research, please see our latest performance assessment: 

Research achievements - timeline

The Christie has been at the forefront of cancer research and innovation for over 100 years, from when we first opened our doors in 1892 up to the present day. See our timeline of research achievements below.

  • 1905 – began admitting patients at earlier stages making research a possibility for the first time
  • 1925 – published early, ground breaking study of mineral oil used in cotton mills causing cancer in workers called ‘mule spinners’
  • 1931 – developed world standard Paterson/Parker Manchester System of measuring and administering radium treatment
  • 1933 – began tissue culture research for the first time
  • 1939 – developed the first simple system for measuring dosage of gamma rays in X-ray therapy
  • 1940 – developed the Beam Directed Radiation principle for controlling and delivering radiation dosage
  • 1946 – tested anti-cancer effects of urethane and other chemicals for the first time (early chemotherapy)
  • 1963 – researched uptake of cervical smear testing leading to introduction of national screening programme
  • 1980 – conducted research growing bone marrow cells in the laboratory for the first time
  • 1980s – developed the pulse radiolysis system of studying molecules receiving short bursts of radiation
  • 1986 – world’s first use of cultured bone marrow for the treatment of leukaemia
  • 1991 – world’s first single harvest blood stem-cell transplant
  • 2002 – world’s first clinical use of image guided radiotherapy
  • 2010 – opened largest single-site early phase clinical trials unit in the world
  • 2015 – showed that positron-emission tomography (PET) can be used to identify patients with early stage Hodgkin lymphoma who do not require radiotherapy after chemotherapy. This helped reduce treatment duration and side effects.
  • 2017 – established the effectiveness of twice-daily radiotherapy given concurrently with chemotherapy in limited stage small cell lung cancer which went on to become an international standard of care
  • 2019 – UK’s first high energy proton beam therapy centre available for research in the NHS

Last updated: May 2023