UCL Cancer Institute


Head and Neck Cancers Research Group

Group Leader: Dr Martin Forster

Our research

Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and increasingly caused by infection with human papilloma virus (HPV). The Head and Neck Cancer Research Group at the UCL Cancer Institute aims to increase the understanding of the pathogenesis of head and neck cancer and the translation of these findings into clinical practice. It mainly focuses on HPV-associated head and neck cancer, oral HPV screening, and the genomic and epigenomic analysis of rare head and neck cancers. The group has close links with the UCLH Clinical Trials Centre, HPV Tumour Biology group, UCL Centre for Sexual Health and HIV research, and is part of the UCL HPV Interest Group.

The UCL/UCLH Head and Neck Tissue Bank ‘Genetic Variations in Tumour Growth Promoting Genes’

Project Lead: Martin Forster
The Head and Neck Tissue Bank is a prospective collection of tissue samples from the head and neck region. The collection of these samples is in progress and patients undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic procedures at UCLH are encouraged to take part in this study. Samples are used for the establishment of in vitro and xenograft in vivo models.

Clinical trials in Head and Neck Cancer at UCL/UCLH

Project Lead: Martin Forster
These trials include ORCA2 and PATRIOT.

Circulating biomarkers in Head and Neck Cancer

Project Lead: Martin Forster
This is project aims to evaluate circulating tumour cells and other circulating biomarkers within a range of head and neck malignancies.

Immunology in Head and Neck Cancer (Collaboration with Prof. Sergio Quezada)

Project Lead: Martin Forster

HER family signalling in Head and Neck Cancer (Collaboration with Prof. Tony Ng.)

Project Lead: Martin Forster