Lung cancer

Why we focus on lung cancer

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, with around 47,200 new lung cancer cases diagnosed in the UK every year. Survival rates in the UK are distressingly low and worse than in much of Europe – about 10 per cent of patients in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more after their diagnosis. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival outcomes of all cancers because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed at a late stage when curative treatment is not possible. When diagnosed at its earliest stage, around 73% of patients with non small cell lung cancer and around 56% of patients with small cell lung cancer will survive their disease for at least one year after diagnosis.

Occupational exposures are linked to around 1 in 8 lung cancers in the UK, a large proportion of these due to asbestos resulting in a cancer of the lining of the lungs called mesothelioma. Our researchers are combining both basic molecular biology and clinical research to advance our understanding and treatment of lung cancer.

What we do
  • We are investigating the early events that initiate lung cancer, such as loss of the tumour suppressor gene LIMD1.
  • We are looking at aberrant tumour metabolism and inflammation in mesothelioma and how this can be exploited in the clinic. Based on our preclinical studies we are now testing whether arginine deprivation will herald a new approach in treating patients with lung cancers (ADAM and TRAP clinical trials).
  • We are identifying new therapeutic strategies for treatment of mesothelioma patients using a synthetic lethal approach.
  • We are investigating how lung cancer spreads which will help us to identify and design new therapies to prevent this spread and metastasis. We believe this multi-disciplinary approach to lung cancer research will have a real impact on patient health.
Click on the links below to find out which researchers are working on:
Major Funders
  • Barts Charity
  • British Lung Foundation
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Medical Research Council
Key Publications

Image credit: Lung cancer cells. Anne Weston, Francis Crick InstituteCC BY-NC