The Barts Cancer Institute (BCI), part of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, has one overriding objective, which is to ensure that the research conducted here is relevant to and will impact on cancer patients. Under the leadership of the Director, Professor Nick Lemoine, and supported by an Executive Board of senior investigators, the BCI provides an academic environment fitting for an internationally recognised, comprehensive cancer centre.
The BCI is made up of five Centres, and our strength lies in a strong philosophy of close collaboration across these Centres, allowing for multidisciplinary integration into shared research objectives. Find out more about each of our Centres below.
Work in this Centre focuses on different aspects of the biology of transformed cells or the stromal cells found in neoplastic foci. The Centre brings together individuals with a diverse range of expertise in cell biology, molecular biology and pathology to form a synergistic approach to complex biological problems.
Our unifying interest is in understanding the cellular and molecular events which drive tumour progression to the malignant phenotype. We have a particular interest in understanding the nature of the “cross-talk” between epithelial cancer cells and their stromal partners during cancer evolution.
The main goal of this Centre is to use multi-disciplinary expertise in the molecular mechanisms of cancer to develop novel biomarkers and therapies that will improve outcomes for cancer patients. The main areas of research focus include:
This Centre seeks to understand the molecular basis for lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma to identify targets for novel targeted therapies and to identify biomarkers of prognosis and response to treatment. We also seek to understand the impact of the tumour microenvironment on malignant cell survival and resistance to therapy. A long-standing strength has been the translational components with strong links to the clinic through clinical senior lecturers and clinical research fellowships and high enrolment of patients in clinical trials.
This Centre focuses on the links between cancer and inflammation. The overarching hypothesis that drives our research is that the inflammatory mediators and cells found in cancer are more likely to enhance than inhibit tumour progression; hence modulating these cells and mediators should be of therapeutic benefit.
Our aim is to translate our laboratory research in chronic inflammation and the tumour microenvironment into new treatments for cancer, especially ovarian and pancreatic cancer. We have been involved in several Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of cytokine antagonists and are currently planning other trials involving novel targets in the cancer microenvironment.
The Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine is part of the Barts ECMC. The team comprises of an academically led Trials Team responsible for the development and management of investigator led and academically sponsored clinical trials, as well as a Cancer Research Delivery Group (CRDG) responsible for the recruitment and clinical management of Barts Health NHS Trust patients participating in clinical trials.
The Centre’s vision and strategic priorities include: Facilitating the transfer from preclinical research undertaken at Barts into the clinic; Using biomarker driven strategies to better understand the biology of novel treatments thus expanding our programme of translational research; Developing a programme of rational combinations of immunotherapy.