Prince William made a visit to the Royal Marsden Hospital in his capacity as President yesterday, learning about its ongoing cancer research work.
The Duke of Cambridge, who looked the part in his white lab coat remarked, “It’s a bit chilly,” as he examined tumour cell samples and toured the Sutton Hospital, a world leader in cancer specialism.
Replying to the Duke, Janine Salter, the hospital’s tissue Bank Manager said: “You don’t want to put your hand in there,” as she demonstrated how the Royal Marsden is using the technology to develop its practices.
Following in his mother Diana’s footsteps, William became the Royal Marsden’s President in 2007. The former Princess of Wales held the position from 1989 until she passed away in 1997.
Throughout his visit, the Duke spoke to patients who are receiving revolutionary new treatments.
One patient, Michael Tyrrell, 48, told William he had undergone seven rounds of chemotherapy since being diagnosed with cancer between his oesophagus and stomach, in April.
Tyrrell, a grandfather of five from Burgh Heath, Surrey, spoke of how “positive and upbeat” William was during his visit.
“We’re all here for one reason. We’re all trying to get better” he said.
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007, Peter Benstead, 89, told William how the hospital’s trials gave him “a new lease of life.”
“I’d had three lots of chemotherapy and one lot of radiotherapy. The senior oncologist said there was no more treatment that they could offer, but they could refer me to the Royal Marsden.” said the great-grandfather of four.
“Fortunately they accepted me and I’ve started treatment. The hospital itself is a wonderful place.”
Professor Mitch Dowsett, Head of the Centre for Molecular Pathology said: “It was a privilege to show The Duke of Cambridge around our Centre today.
“He showed great interest in our research facilities and the work that we do here to make a difference to patients today and to improve treatment outcomes for patients, longer term.”
“We showed the Duke how we use state-of-the-art sequencing technology to identify mutations in DNA that are responsible for the development of cancer, ensuring that patients can be placed on the correct cancer treatment or clinical trial.”
William also visited the Cancer Biobank, histopathology and molecular diagnostics units.