An exhibition that’ll include the first-ever example of cancer in a dinosaur fossil, will open shortly at the Science Museum. It’s an exhibition that comes at a time when half of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, yet with improved cancer treatment and care, more of us than ever before are living longer and better with the disease and beyond.

Visitor looking at the 3D tumour sculpture in the Cancer Revolution exhibition (c) Science Museum

On display in the exhibition will be never before seen objects, treatment and research, interactive exhibits and a breadth of personal stories. The exhibition aims to reveal how researchers, clinicians, policy makers and patients are fuelling progress in the treatment of this disease.

Some of the objects that have never been displayed at the Science Museum will include the recent discovery of the first malignant bone tumour to be identified in a dinosaur fossil and a cast from the 1950s developed to hold radium seeds for skin cancer treatment.

The history of cancer treatment is also explored, with visitors able to see the Radium teletherapy apparatus used at London’s Westminster Hospital in the 1930s by Ernest and Frank Carling. On display for the first time in 60 years, it was used as part of the first alternative treatment to surgery that could visibly shrink and treat tumours.

Cancer is more than a science to be looked at for its scientific cleverness though, as it has a deeply personal effect on anyone affected by it. And the exhibition will also look at that side of the science, the emotions of the patients.

The exhibition will feature the work of ten scientific studies, brought together for the first time. Visitors will also discover the therapies being used to re-engineer immune cells to better recognise cancer and how virtual reality is being used to study cancer and shape treatments, as we explore the future of cancer care.

As a display, with around 125 objects, it’s a look back at the history of cancer, but a look forward to how society is slowly cracking the problem of cancer, itself an indirect side-effect of how much longer the average person is living now. Which itself is a human success story.

The exhibition, which is currently on display at Manchester’s  Science and Industry Museum will open at the Science Museum on 25th May 2022 and run to the end of this year.

Entry will be free, with tickets available to pre-book from here now.


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