Science museum

A major cancer exhibit is coming to the Science Museum

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

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

The exhibition will feature never-before-seen objects, treatments and research, interactive exhibits and a host of personal stories. The exhibition aims to reveal how researchers, clinicians, policy makers and patients are fueling advances in the treatment of this disease.

Among the items that have never been displayed at the Science Museum are the recent discovery of the first malignant bone tumor to be identified in a dinosaur fossil and a 1950s cast developed to contain radium seeds for the treatment of skin cancer.

The history of cancer treatment is also explored, with visitors seeing the Radium teletherapy device used at Westminster Hospital in London in the 1930s by Ernest and Frank Carling. Exposed 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, however, is more than a science to consider for its scientific intelligence, as it has a deeply personal effect on anyone affected by it. And the exhibition will also look at this aspect of science, the emotions of patients.

The exhibition will present the work of ten scientific studies, brought together for the first time. Visitors will also learn about therapies being used to redesign immune cells to better recognize cancer and how virtual reality is being used to study cancer and shape treatments, as we explore the future of cancer care.

As an exhibition, with around 125 objects, it is a look back at the history of cancer, but a look at how society is slowly solving the problem of cancer, itself an indirect side effect of how long the average person lives now. Which is in itself a human success story.

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

Admission will be free, with tickets available for pre-booking from here now.