Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre

Director: Professor Jonathan A Ledermann





The Cancer Research UK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre (CTC) is a research department within UCL Cancer Institute. University College London and associated hospitals have recently joined to form UCL Partners which has become of the UK’s Academic Health Science Centres. UCL has a strong background in biomedical research and UCL and UCL Hospitals is one of five national Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centres. Cancer is a major research theme and UCL has significant grant income for cancer research. UCL has recently joined the national network of virtual multidisciplinary Cancer Research UK Centres.

The Cancer Trials Centre (CTC) has five key aims. These are:

  • To develop and conduct high quality trials to change clinical practice
  • To evaluate new ways of treating or detecting a wide variety of cancers using multi-modal approaches
  • To foster national and international collaboration with other researchers in cancer
  • To translate laboratory innovations into clinical trials and generate new scientific ideas
  • To train a new generation of cancer clinical trials specialists


The CTC was formed in 1997 through the amalgamation of three Cancer Research UK (formerly Cancer Research Campaign) clinical trials groups: two existing groups at UCL - the CRC Lung Group/London Lung Cancer Group and the BNLI (British National Lymphoma Investigation)/CRC Lymphoma Group - were joined by a CRC trials group based at King College London. Over the last 12 years the CTC has grown to be one of the largest cancer trials centres in the UK. It is one of the 9 accredited clinical trials units of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI).

The CTC has approximately 80 staff and is based at 90 Tottenham Court Road, London. Phase III trials have been the core of the activity of the CTC but over the last few years the CTC has taken on an increasing number of new early phase studies, ranging from phase I/II trials to randomised feasibility studies, and this now constitutes a significant proportion of our work.

The CTC receives most of its core funding from Cancer Research UK, with additional support from the Lymphoma Research Trust (LRT). Grants for individual projects come from a variety of sources including Cancer Research UK, LRT and industry. The CTC manages all aspects of trial design, conduct and analysis and has a dedicated group to manage the complex legal and regulatory procedures, pharmacovigilance and contracts that are now required.

Trials at the CTC cover a range of tumour areas, most of which are based on evaluating chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. We are responsible for a significant proportion of the National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) academic trials portfolio.

There are three tumour group teams conducting trials in the following tumour areas:

  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Gynaecological cancer
  • Head & neck cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphomas & myeloma
  • Metastatic cancer- Radiation studies
  • Sarcoma

There are three cross-centre groups:
  • IT and Database Unit
  • Regulatory Affairs Group
  • Statistics Group

The clinical trials staff are supported by an administrative team.


The centre has research expertise in the following areas:
 • Lung cancer
 • Upper gastrointestinal cancers
 • Rectal and anal cancer
 • Gynaecological Cancers
 • Lymphoma
 • Head and Neck Cancers
 • Breast Cancer Genetics
 • Radiotherapy - chemoradiation


Tumour Group Leads & Main Research Interest

  • Allan Hackshaw - Statistician & Deputy Director
  • Nicky Gower - Regulatory Affairs
  • Paul Smith - Lymphoma/ Brain
  • Lindsay James - Lung/Gynaecology
  • Sandy Beare - Head & Neck/ Bone Mets/GI
  • Ifty Khan - Lung



Selected Publications


Ledermann JA, Marth C, Carey MS, et al: Role of molecular agents and targeted therapy in clinical trials for women with ovarian cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2011 May;21(4):763-70.

Stuart GC, Kitchener H, Bacon M, et al: 2010 Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG) Consensus Statement on Clinical Trials in Ovarian Cancer: Report From the Fourth Ovarian Cancer Consensus Conference. Int J Gynecol Cancer : 21:750-755, 2011

Ledermann, JA, Hackshaw, A, Kaye, S B, Jayson, G C, Gabra, IH, McNeish, I, Earl, H, Perren, P, Gore, M, Persic, M, Adams, M, James, L, Temple, G, Merger, M and Rustin, G. A randomized phase II placebo-controlled trial of maintenance therapy using the oral triple angiokinase inhibitor BIBF 1120 following chemotherapy for relapsed ovarian cancer. J Clin. Oncol. (in press; 2011)

Hackshaw A, Kirkwood A. Research and Methods: Interpreting and reporting clinical trials with with results of borderline statistical significance. BMJ (in press; 2011)

Hackshaw A, Roughton M, Forsyth S, Monson K, Reczko K, Sainsbury R, Baum M. Long-term benefits of 5 years of tamoxifen: 10 year follow up of a large randomised trial in women aged at least 50 years with early breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2011 May 1;29(13):1657-63. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Marsh D, Suchak K, Moutasim KA, Vallath S, Hopper C, Jerjes W, Kalavrezos N, Violette SM, Weinreb PH, Chester KA, Chana J, Marshall JF, Hart IR, Hackshaw AK, Piper K, Thomas GJ. Stromal activation predicts for clinically aggressive oral cancer. J Pathology; 223(4): 470-481. DOI: 10.1002/path.2830. 2011

Mohamedbhai SG, Sibson K, Marafioti T, Kayani I, Lowry L, Goldstone AH, Linch DC, Ardeshna KM. Rituximab in combination with CODOX-M/IVAC: a retrospective analysis of 23 cases of non-HIV related B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma with proliferation index >95%. Br J Haematol. 152: 175-81. 2011

Peggs KS, Kayani I, Edwards N, Kottaridis P, Goldstone AH, Linch DC, Hough R, Morris EC, Fielding A, Chakraverty R, Thomson KJ, Mackinnon S. Donor lymphocyte infusions modulate relapse risk in mixed chimeras and induce durable salvage in relapsed patients after T-cell-depleted allogeneic transplantation. J Clin Oncol. 2011 Mar 10;29(8):971-8. Epub 2011 Jan 31

S. F. Barrington, J. E. MacKewn, P. Schleyer, P. K. Marsden, N. G. Mikhaeel, W. Qian, P. Mouncey, P. Patrick, B. Popova, P. Johnson, J. Radford & M. J. O’Doherty. Establishment of a UK-wide network to facilitate the acquisition of quality assured FDG–PET data for clinical trials in lymphoma. Ann Oncol. 2011 Mar;22(3):739-45. Epub 2010 Sep 2. Trials: RAPID, RATHL, RCHOP14 v21 PET substudy


Ledermann JA, Raja FA: Targeted trials in ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol 119:151-6, 2010

Trimble EL, Birrer MJ, Hoskins WJ, et al: Current academic clinical trials in ovarian cancer: Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup and US National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials Planning Meeting, May 2009. Int J Gynecol Cancer 20:1290-8, 2010

Wheatley-Price P, Blackhall F, Lee SM, Ma C, Ashcroft L, Jitlal M, Qian W, Hackshaw A, Rudd R, Booton R, Danson S, Lorigan P, Thatcher N, Shepherd F. The Influence of Sex and Histology on Outcomes in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: a Pooled Analysis of 5 Randomized Trials. Ann Oncology; 21(10): 2023-2028. 2010

Turner NC, Strauss SJ, Sarker D, Gillmore R, Kirkwood A, Hackshaw A, Papadopoulou A, Bell J, Kayani I, Toumpanakis C, Buscombe J, Grillo J, Mayer A, Hochhauser D, Begent RH, Caplin ME, Meyer T. Chemotherapy with 5-Fluorouracil, Cisplatin and Streptozocin (FCiSt) for neuroendocrine tumors. Br J Cancer; 102(7): 1106-1112. 2010

Ledermann JA, Gabra H, Jayson GC, Spanswick VJ, Rustin GJ, Jitlal M, James LE, Hartley JA. Inhibition of carboplatin-induced DNA interstrand cross-link repair by gemcitabine in patients receiving these drugs for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Oct 1;16 (19):4899-905. Epub 2010

Vergote IE, Pujade-Lauraine E,Pignata S, Kristensen GB, Ledermann JA, Casado A, Sehouli J, Mirza M, Fossati R, Marth C. Creutzberg C, Del Campo J, Siddiqui N, Calvert P, Bamias A, Tulunay G, van der Zee Ate GJ, du Bois A . European Network of Gynaecological Oncological Trial Groups' requirements for trials between academic groups and pharmaceutical companies. Int J Gynecol Cancer, 20: 476-47. 2010

Linch DC, Yung L, Smith P, Maclennan K, Jack A, Hancock B, Cunningham D, Hoskin P, Qian W, Holte H, Boesen AM, Grigg A, Browett P, Trneny M. Final analysis of the UKLG LY02 trial comparing 6-8 cycles of CHOP with 3 cycles of CHOP followed by a BEAM autograft in patients <65 years with poor prognosis histologically aggressive NHL. Br J Haematol. 2010 Apr;149(2):237-43. Epub PubMed PMID: 20201949. 2010 Mar 1

Northover J, Glynne-Jones R, Sebag-Montefiore D, James R, Meadows H, Wan S, Jitlal M, Ledermann J. Chemo-radiation for the treatment of epidermoid anal cancer: 13-year follow up of the first randomised UKCCCR Anal Cancer Trial (ACT I). Br J Cancer.102(7):1123-8. 2010 Mar 30

Valle J, Wasan H, Palmer DH, Cunningham D, Anthoney A, Maraveyas A, Madhusudan S, Iveson T, Hughes S, Pereira SP, Roughton M, Bridgewater J; ABC-02 Trial Investigators. Cisplatin plus Gemcitabine versus Gemcitabine for Biliary Tract Cancer. N Engl J Med. 362(14):1273-81. 2010 Apr 8

Glynne-Jones R, Sebag-Montefiore D, Adams R, McDonald A, Gollins S, James R, Northover JM, Meadows HM, Jitlal M. "Mind the Gap"-The Impact of Variations in the Duration of the Treatment Gap and Overall Treatment Time in the First UK Anal Cancer Trial (ACT I). Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Oct 7

Barrington SF, Qian W, Somer EJ, Franceschetto A, Bagni B, Brun E, Almquist H, Loft A, Højgaard L, Federico M, Gallamini A, Smith P, Johnson P, Radford J, O'Doherty MJ. Concordance between four European centres of PET reporting criteria designed for use in multicentre trials in Hodgkin lymphoma. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging.1824-33. 2010 Oct;37(10)

Gisselbrecht C, Glass B, Mounier N, Singh Gill D, Linch DC, Trneny M, Bosly A, Ketterer N, Shpilberg O, Hagberg H, Ma D, Brière J, Moskowitz CH, Schmitz N. Salvage regimens with autologous transplantation for relapsed large B-cell lymphoma in the rituximab era. J Clin Oncol. 28: 4184-90. 2010

Valle J, Wasan H, Palmer DH, Cunningham D, Anthoney A, Maraveyas A, Madhusudan S, Iveson T, Hughes S, Pereira SP, Roughton M, Bridgewater J; ABC-02 Trial Investigators. Cisplatin plus gemcitabine versus gemcitabine for biliary tract cancer. N Engl J Med. 362(14):1273-81. 2010

Lambert JR, Bomanji JB, Peggs KS, Thomson KJ, Chakraverty RK, Fielding AK, Kottaridis PD, Roughton M, Morris EC, Goldstone AH, Linch DC, Ell PJ, Mackinnon S. Prognostic role of PET scanning before and after reduced-intensity allogeneic stem cell transplantation for lymphoma. Blood. 115: 2763-8. 2010

Lowry L, Hoskin P, Linch D. Developments in the management of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Lancet. 375: 786-8. 2010

Thomson KJ, Morris EC, Milligan D, Parker AN, Hunter AE, Cook G, Bloor AJ, Clark F, Kazmi M, Linch DC, Chakraverty R, Peggs KS, Mackinnon S. T-cell-depleted reduced-intensity transplantation followed by donor leukocyte infusions to promote graft-versus-lymphoma activity results in excellent long-term survival in patients with multiply relapsed follicular lymphoma. J Clin Oncol. 28: 3695-700. 2010

Tobias JS, Monson K, Gupta N, Macdougall H, Glaholm J, Hutchison I, Kadalayil L, Hackshaw A; UK Head and Neck Cancer Trialists' Group. Chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced head and neck cancer: 10-year follow-up of the UK Head and Neck (UKHAN1) trial. Lancet Oncol. 2010 Jan;11(1):66-74.