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Cancer: AHSC disease programme

UCLPartners AHSC (Academic Health Science Centre) has a wealth of expertise in innovative multi-disciplinary cancer research, and the translation of cutting-edge therapies into patient benefit.

Our key resources are described below:

  • The CRUK City of London Centre brings together researchers from UCL, Barts and Queen Mary University of London, with King’s College London and The Francis Crick Institute, to generate novel innovative biological therapies, diagnostics and stratification strategies, providing a clinical and translational pipeline for cancer discovery science. Read more:
  • CRUK UCL Centre and CRUK Barts Centre: Part of a national network of 13 research centres funded by Cancer Research UK dedicated to delivering world-leading cancer research, improved care for cancer patients and greater local engagement. Read more: and
  • UCL Cancer Institute: The UCL Cancer Institute draws together over 400 talented scientists who are working together to translate research discoveries into developing kinder, more effective therapies for cancer patients. Read more:
  • North Central and East London Cancer Alliance: bringing together hospital trusts, GPs, health service commissioners, local authorities and patients to improve early cancer diagnosis, outcomes and care for patients in our area. Read more:
  • NHS Genomic Medicine Hub: All 5 of our AHSC member NHS Trusts are partners in the hub, set up to help gain a better understanding of the genetic causes of cancer and rare disease. It is part of the Government’s 100,000 Genomes Project which aims to sequence, or analyse, 100,000 genomes from participants with cancer and rare disorders. The North Thames GMC is currently one of 13 regional Genomic Medicine Centres in England.

Case studies/our work:

  • Largest ever lung cancer screening project in the UK: UCLH and UCL have embarked upon the largest ever lung cancer screening project in the UK. The SUMMIT Study has two aims: to detect lung cancer early among at-risk Londoners when the chance of successful treatment and survival from Britain’s biggest cancer killer is greatest; and to support the development of a new blood test for the early detection of multiple cancer types, including lung cancer. In addition, the study will provide evidence to inform a potential national lung cancer screening programme – currently in England, people are offered screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancer, but not lung cancer. The study is a key work programme of the UCLH Cancer Collaborative, which brings together healthcare organisations across north and east London, to improve early cancer diagnosis, outcomes and care for patients.
  • New proton beam facility at UCLH: Located in the heart of London, the new eleven storey building will be home to one of only two NHS proton beam therapy (PBT) centres in the UK. PBT is an advanced form of radiotherapy used for the treatment of complex and hard-to-treat cancers in children and adults. Previously patients had to travel abroad for PBT, but now patients can benefit from local access to this advanced treatment at The Christie and from 2020 at UCLH, with potentially better outcomes and a lower risk of longer term side effects. Moments away from University College Hospital, the Macmillan Cancer Centre and UCL, the facility will be ideally located to ensure patients benefit from integrated pathways in a state-of-the-art building. Read more:
  • The TRACERx (TRAcking Cancer Evolution through therapy (Rx)) lung study is a multi-million pound research project taking place over nine years, which will transform our understanding of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and take a practical step towards an era of precision medicine. The study will uncover mechanisms of cancer evolution by analysing the intratumour heterogeneity in lung tumours from approximately 850 patients and tracking its evolutionary trajectory from diagnosis through to relapse. At £14 million, it’s the biggest single investment in lung cancer research by Cancer Research UK, and the start of a strategic UK-wide focus on the disease, aimed at making real progress for patients.