The free exhibition, open from 25th May, includes the first malignant bone tumour to be found in a dinosaur, on display in the UK for the very first time.
Above: Gas mask, 1917. The first cancer chemotherapy drugs came from studying the effects of mustard gas – a deadly chemical weapon used in the First World War.
One in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, and yet with improved care and revolutions in research, more of us than ever before are living longer and better with the disease. Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope is the world’s first major exhibition to reveal the past, present, and future of how the Big C is prevented, detected, and then treated.
Among the 125 objects is the first dinosaur bone tumour to be identified, on display to the British public for the first time. We also get to see the history of treatment, with the display of the Radium therapy apparatus, used to shrink tumours, used at London’s Westminster Hospital in the 1930s by Ernest and Frank Carling.
From busting myths about the causes of cancer, to exploring the history of the disease and how the latest detection technology and immunotherapy are advancing cancer care today, Cancer Revolution will show how far we have come in tackling the disease. The exhibition reveals how cancer has been treated over the centuries, from high risk-surgeries to the discovery of the first chemotherapy drugs.
Also on display will be the brand new treatments transforming diagnosis, such as the Cytosponge (reshaping the early detection of signs of oesophegeal cancer) and the Galleri test (designed to detect over 50 types of cancer from one blood sample, currently being trialled by the NHS). The iKnife is a surgical precision tool that signals whether any human tissue cut during surgery is cancerous or not.
Visitors will also encounter a series of artworks that provide an insight into the emotional and psychological impact of cancer treatment. An atmospheric soundscape by Katharine Dowson features the voices of patients reflecting on the impacts of radiotherapy and cancer treatment ten years on alongside glass casts of the radiotherapy masks used by real patients.
Katie Dabin, Lead Curator of the exhibition and Curator of Medicine at the Science Museum said: “I’m thrilled visitors to the Science Museum will get to see this groundbreaking exhibition. We hope visitors will feel uplifted by the incredible work being done to improve early diagnosis.”
Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Exec said: “The pandemic has shown us all the power of science first-hand, and this exhibition showcases how science is allowing us to make constant progress in our understanding of cancer, and unlock more ways to beat it. So much progress has been made in the global fight against the disease, and this inspirational exhibition reflects our optimism for the future: a feeling which we hope visitors will take away.”
- Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope is open NOW to the public until January 2023. It’s free, but tickets are required and can be secured HERE.