Cancer Research UK – Manchester Institute

The Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute is a leading cancer research institute within The University of Manchester, core funded by Cancer Research UK, the largest independent cancer research organisation in the world.

Research within the Institute spans the whole spectrum of cancer research, from programmes investigating the molecular and cellular basis of cancer, to those focussed on translational research and the development of therapeutics. The Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology Group (CEP), was established in 2004, to fulfil the pressing medical need for bio-marker-focused translational research and is co-directed by Professor Caroline Dive and Professor Malcolm Ranson.

The CEP team was awarded the 2011 Cancer Research UK Prize for Translational Cancer Research. The prize recognises the work of researchers at the Cancer Research UK-funded Paterson Institute, The University of Manchester, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and AstraZeneca, who together have contributed to transforming the field of bio-marker research and early clinical trials. The team has had many successes in using bio-markers – substances that can be measured to determine several factors such as how well a patient is responding to a treatment – to enhance clinical trials and has been involved in over 70 clinical trials since 2004. The team’s accomplishments in translational research in lung cancer are an example of the many achievements that were recognised by the panel. They have discovered that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in lung cancer patient blood can be used to predict response to treatment and thereby ensure better selection of treatment options for patients.


Medical Research council cancer Unit at University of Cambridge

The MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge is a state-of-the-art cancer research facility that stems from a unique collaboration between the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Cambridge. It is now a leading site for basic and translational cancer research in Cambridge. The Unit aims to bridge the gap between basic cancer research and clinical practice through innovative, interdisciplinary research in three major areas – cancer biology, cancer diagnosis, and cancer therapy.

The Unit houses active clinicians as well as basic scientists, enabling the rapid translation of discoveries made at the research bench into clinically viable applications at the patient’s bedside. It is based in the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre building at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital site, a leading environment for cancer research, enabling fruitful interactions with colleagues in the NHS, the CRUK Cambridge Institute, an outstanding cohort of neighbouring MRC laboratories, and in the clinical and basic science departments of the University of Cambridge. Unit at The University of Cambridge.

University of Surrey Oncology Group

The group have leading expertise in prostate cancer and have developed a specialist model for culturing recovered cancer cells in the laboratory.

The oncology group at the Postgraduate Medical School, University of Surrey are a multidisciplinary team of cancer physicians and scientists who have an aim to develop, evaluate and deliver novel cancer therapies to patients. They have specialist expertise in urological and ovarian cancers, and conduct early phase trials across most cancer types.

The team is led by Prof Hardev Pandha, a clinician scientist and consultant in medical oncology, and Dr Richard Morgan, Senior lecturer in molecular oncology. In particular the group have the expertise and facilities to undertake human studies of targeted cancer therapies, cancer vaccines and oncolytic viral therapy. Clinical trials are conducted at St Luke’s Cancer Centre, in the neighbouring Royal Surrey County Hospital.

A particular strength of the group has been the emphasis on translational science associated with the trials. This includes the collection, archiving and evaluation of patient tissue and blood for biomarkers and discovery. The group currently numbers 24, has state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and scientific expertise to undertake new research projects with potential collaborators. The group has published 110 peer reviewed scientific papers since they moved to Surrey in 2006.

University of Surrey Presentation of Parsortix Study at 4th Annual Circulate Conference in Berlin by Hari Nageswaran, Clinical Research Fellow

Barts Cancer Institute

Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, is a Cancer Research UK Centre of Excellence with close association with the Barts Health NHS Trust, based in the City of London.  Barts Cancer Institute is home to world-class clinical, translational and basic scientific research and is one of the top five cancer research centres in the UK.

The research collaboration is being led by Dr Yong-Jie Lu, a Reader in Medical Oncology, and Dr Jonathan Shamash, a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Oncologist, both from Barts Cancer Institute. Dr Yong-Jie Lu’s research focuses on the identification of critical genes in the development and progression of prostate cancer. Such genetic alterations can be used to develop useful biomarkers for tumor behaviour and therapeutic response and targets for novel therapies.

Barts Cancer Institute started working with the Parsortix system in March 2014 and Dr Yong-Jie Lu’s initial report was presented at the 2nd International Symposium on Advances in Circulating Tumor Cells, which was held in Crete from 8 to 11 October 2014.

Kimmel Cancer Centre

The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University – a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center, is home to internationally renowned cancer physicians and research scientists. The collaboration with ANGLE will be led by Dr Massimo Cristofanilli, an internationally renowned breast cancer researcher and clinician, and Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals.

Dr Cristofanilli’s research aims to improve personalised medicine for breast cancer patients, focusing on molecular targeted agents, biomarkers and gene therapies. Dr Cristofanilli has been an acknowledged leader in the CTC field since 2004, when his study on CTCs was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. His study found CTCs to be a predictor of progression-free survival and overall survival in metastatic breast cancer patients, and was one of the first major studies on CTCs.

Dr Cristofanilli and his team are particularly interested in ANGLE’s Parsortix system for CTCs because it is antibody independent and offers easy harvesting of CTCs for molecular analysis, which may help guide treatment plans.

University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC Norris) is a world leader in cancer research and is designated by the National Cancer Institute as one of the nation’s leading comprehensive cancer centers.

The research collaboration with ANGLE will be led by Dr Julie E. Lang, M.D., F.A.C.S., Associate Professor of Surgery, specialising in breast cancer and notably in molecular profiling of circulating tumor cells in breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer and radiation induced-sarcoma. Dr Lang is involved with clinical trials and translational studies focused on finding better treatments for breast cancer patients via a multidisciplinary and personalised approach.

The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)

The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), a world leader in circulating tumor cell (CTC) research and part of the University Cancer Center Hamburg. Specifically, ANGLE is collaborating with the Department of Tumor Biology within the University Cancer Centre. Their research is dedicated to the identification and characterization of tumor cells that have disseminated from the primary tumor and may give rise to overt metastases in cancer patients. The group maintains co-operations with other institutes within the UKE, as well as national and international co-operations (Europe, Japan, USA), are leading extensive joint research projects, and are organizers of international congresses about dormancy and dissemination of tumor cells. The group has more than 30 currently funded projects and has more than 35 publications in high ranked peer-reviewed journals.

Medical University of Vienna

The Medical University of Vienna is one of the leading research institutions in Europe. ANGLE has a collaboration agreement with the Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster ‘Translational Oncology’ located at the Medical University of Vienna to investigate the clinical use of the Parsortix system for ovarian cancer. The collaboration is led by the head of the interdisciplinary Molecular Oncology Group at Medical University of Vienna, Professor Robert Zeillinger.

Prof Zeillinger has 30 years’ experience in the field of molecular oncology, experimental oncology, gynaecologic oncology, and was initiator and coordinator of the EU FP6 project OVCAD (ovarian cancer diagnosing a silent killer). He is author and co-author of more than 200 scientific publications and holds several patents.

The Molecular Oncology Group is an active member of EUTROC (European Network for Translational Research in Ovarian Cancer), which brings together all the leading ovarian cancer experts in Europe and is leading a number of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials for new drugs to address ovarian cancer. The Group is also a member of TOC (International Tumour Bank Ovarian Cancer Initiative), where Prof Zeillinger serves as a member of the scientific board.

Furthermore, Prof Zeillinger and his team are taking the lead on ‘companion diagnostics’ in the major GANNET53 Europe-wide multi-centre ovarian cancer clinical trial to test a new drug strategy for chemotherapy resistant ovarian cancer with Phase I and Phase II trials planned for 2015.