In the UK, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer, at least 40% of which is preventable: we want to change this. We have a strong track record and growing reputation for innovation in:
- Medicines that can prevent cancer and guide cancer treatment
- Mesothelioma – a type of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos
- Rare blood cancers
- Using tumour samples from patients following surgery, called patient-derived tumour explants, and testing them with current and new treatments, including immunotherapy, to measure the response
- Measuring DNA released into blood by dying cancer cells, called circulating tumour DNA, or ctDNA, to detect cancer early and manage treatment
We aim to help patients with or at risk of cancer live longer, healthier lives with fewer complications through new targeted treatment approaches. We have developed four key research areas to achieve this:
- Cancer prevention: we will use our knowledge of how certain chemicals in the body work to help us predict and test which existing medicines may work in preventing different cancers including people at high-risk of developing cancer
- Precision Medicine: to improve outcomes in cancers of unmet need and underserved communities.
- Patient-derived tumour explant (PDE) platform: to deliver smarter design of personalised medicine and establish a UK Skills-Knowledge-Transfer hub for this technology.
- ctDNA profiling: we will aim to harness the power of ctDNA profiling as a method to detect whether a person’s cancer has returned before they have symptoms so they can get earlier access to treatment, to support personalised medicine and study why some people develop resistances to medicines.
We will build on the foundation of our NIHR-CRUK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and expand our research capabilities.
Co-Theme Lead Professor Anne Thomas
Professor Thomas is Director of the Hope Clinical Trials Centre Co-Director of the NIHR-CRUK Leicester Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and until recently led the Leicester Cancer Research Centre. Her research focus is the design and delivery of early-phase clinical studies in cancer treatment and prevention and she is a national expert in gastro-intestinal cancer therapy.
Co-Theme Lead Professor Jacqui Shaw
Professor Shaw is Head of the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology and Co-Director of the Institute for Precision Health at Leicester. Her research focus is using innovative blood-based tests, known as liquid biopsies, to detect and monitor breast and other cancers. She led the ctDNA advisory group for Genomics England and is ctDNA lead for the National TRACERx trial in non-small cell lung cancer. Read Professor Shaw’s full biography and research portfolio here: https://le.ac.uk/people/jacqui-shaw