UCL Cancer Institute


Tumour Heterogeneity Team wins Cancer Research UK Translational Cancer Research Prize 2017

11 December 2017

The Tumour Heterogeneity Team, led by Professor Charles Swanton, has been awarded the Cancer Research UK Translational Research Prize at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference 2017.

Tumour Heterogeneity Team, led by Professor Charles Swanton

This prize recognises the cutting edge breakthroughs of an outstanding research team that has united in the quest to ensure scientific discoveries benefit patients and the public.

The work of the Tumour Heterogeneity Team incorporates the TRACERx (tracking cancer evolution through therapy) lung cancer study and associated projects including the TRACERx Renal Study, PEACE (posthumous tissue donation in cancer) study, and a circulating tumour cell programme.

Tumour variation and evolution

The team aim to understand genomic complexity and heterogeneity in solid tumours, and to track tumour evolution through time and treatment. This year, the group was able to integrate their findings with large-scale clinical collaborative efforts, to identify how heterogeneity can be overcome effectively to design new strategies for targeted and immunotherapeutic approaches.

The judging panel were particularly impressed by publications characterising the interaction between immune and cancer cells during lung cancer development and in response to therapeutic intervention, and demonstrating the negative impact of intra-tumour heterogeneity in response to checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer and melanoma. The work has important implications for therapeutic strategies, and is helping to focus efforts to develop therapies. The panel felt that the group's work serves as an excellent model for effective team science, fostering multidisciplinary collaboration between basic scientists and clinical researchers to achieve outstanding impact.

The full winning team: 

  • Professor Charles Swanton, UCL Cancer Institute & The Francis Crick Institute
  • Dr Nicolai Birkbak, The Francis Crick Institute
  • Professor Fiona Blackhall, Christie Hospital, Manchester
  • Dr Rebecca Burrell, UCL
  • Professor Elza De Bruin, UCL Cancer Institute
  • Dr Sally Dewhurst, The Francis Crick Institute
  • Professor Caroline Dive, CRUK Manchester Institute
  • Professor Dean Fennel, University of Leicester
  • Dr Andrew Furness, UCL
  • Dr Marco Gerlinger, The Institute of Cancer Research
  • Dr Javier Herrero, UCL Cancer Institute
  • Professor Daniel Hochhauser, UCL
  • Stuart Horswell, The Francis Crick Institute
  • Dr Mariam Jamal-Hanjani, UCL Cancer Institute
  • Professor Sam Janes, UCL
  • Dr Nnennaya Kanu, UCL Cancer Institute
  • Dr James Larkin, The Royal Marsden
  • Dr Teresa Marafioti, UCL
  • Dr Nicholas McGranahan, The Francis Crick Institute & UCL
  • Richard Mitter, The Francis Crick Institute
  • Dr Nirupa Murugaesu, UCL Cancer Institute
  • Dr Sergio Quezada, UCL Cancer Institute    
  • Rachel Rosenthal, UCL
  • Andrew Rowan, The Francis Crick Institute    
  • Professor Jacqui Shaw, University of Leicester    
  • Dr Samra Turajlic, The Francis Crick Institute    
  • Dr Gareth Wilson, The Francis Crick Institute

Further information 

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