A study to learn more about the causes of mouth cancer

Cancer type:

Head and neck cancers
Mouth (oral) cancer





This study is looking at samples of cells taken from the mouth, to study genetic changes and other changes in cells that can affect the development of mouth and oropharyngeal cancer.

The researchers want to study cells from normal mouth tissue as well as from people who have mouth diseases, including mouth cancer. They will take samples from people who are having a biopsy, and from people who are having treatment for mouth cancer.

The aim of the study is to find out which gene changes are important, and how these changes may affect the way the immune system responds to cancer.

Please note – you will not benefit directly from taking part in this study. The results may help researchers understand more about what causes mouth cancer. And in the future may help them to improve treatment.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you are having a mouth biopsy or treatment for mouth cancer at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust or Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

Trial design

If you are having a biopsy, the researchers will take some of the tissue that is removed. They may also take an extra biopsy of healthy mouth tissue.

If you are having surgery, the researchers will take a sample of the cancer that is removed.

If you are having chemoradiotherapy Open a glossary item rather than surgery, the researchers will take blood samples but not a sample of the cancer.

The study team will ask everybody taking part to give a blood sample when you have your biopsy or treatment, and again 3 months later.

Hospital visits

If you agree to take part in this study, there will not be any additional hospital visits, apart from having an extra blood test after 3 months.

Side effects

Taking part in this study does not involve any extra tests or treatment. The side effects of having a biopsy include a risk of bleeding. But this usually stops on its own. There is more information about surgery for mouth cancer on CancerHelp UK.



Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Gareth Thomas

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
University of Southampton

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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