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Ben in scrubs Hero

Ben’s work at the forefront of cancer care

For consultant urological surgeon Ben Challacombe, Guy’s Cancer is a special place to work, not least for its capacity to offer pioneering treatments and truly advance cancer care.

It was robots, lasers and access to revolutionary new technology that first inspired Ben to specialise in urology.

Now, with 15 years’ experience in surgical robotics, Ben is as passionate as ever about the role of technology in enabling the best possible treatments for patients – and Guy’s Cancer is at the forefront of this work. 

With six specialist surgical robots, Guy’s Cancer has the largest and longest-running robotics programme in the UK. For Ben, this innovative equipment and the expertise of the team have undoubtedly saved lives.

Guy’s Cancer Charity was fundamental in us starting robotics. They helped buy a robot back in 2004 when we had the first active robotics programme in the UK.

Ben, consultant urological surgeon and clinical robotics lead at Guy's Cancer
Ben with his Guy

For Ben, the opening of Guy’s state-of-the-art Cancer Centre in 2016 – which was partly funded by Guy’s Cancer Charity – was a huge benefit for the local community, as well as patients from further afield. Bringing cancer services onto one site ensures seamless, personalised care for patients, who are also able to participate in pioneering trials. 

“What excites me about Guy’s Cancer is our ability to offer more holistic care, and get patients involved in studies that smaller institutions perhaps couldn’t host,” says Ben. “There’s good evidence that patients who are involved in clinical research do better, and having everything under one roof enables us to offer that.”

But there’s more to Guy’s Cancer than that – particularly for Ben: his parents met at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in the sixties; he met his wife while working at the hospital; and his son is completing work experience at Guy’s too. 

“There’s something very special about this hospital. There’s a feeling of camaraderie and acknowledgment of all the different members of staff, and I think that’s something our patients really appreciate.”

The Cancer Centre made a big difference to cancer care in South London. Having treatments on one site enables patients to have a familiarity, and for us to cross-refer between different disciplines.


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