RadNet – our radiation research network

CRUK RadNet is a network of centres of excellence and state-of-the-art facilities working with the research community to tackle the major challenges in radiobiology and radiation oncology.

We’ve invested an initial £56 million to establish a critical mass of activity in 7 locations. The network will support further growth of the radiation research community through national and international multidisciplinary collaboration, and by developing the future leaders of the field.

This investment brings together researchers across discovery, translational and clinical research. The vision is to establish an effective pipeline to translate novel scientific discoveries into patient benefit in the next 10–15 years.

Opportunities to get involved

Whether you’re a cancer biologist, health professional, engineer or physical scientist, RadNet is an exciting and rewarding opportunity to apply your expertise and knowledge, even if you’ve not worked in the field of radiation research before. Our vision for CRUK RadNet is to unite expertise from many disciplines to deliver clinical impact in the near-term through collaboration.

Opportunities for established investigators include:

  • Forming new collaborations and partnerships with groups in the network
  • Access to expertise, facilities, platforms and technologies for your research
  • Seed funding for new cross-site translational research projects
  • Funding through our existing discovery research and clinical research schemes

RadNet also creates excellent opportunities for early-career researchers, including:

  • PhD studentships, postdoctoral research posts and clinical fellowships at the centres
  • New group leader opportunities, either funded within the centres or through our career development funding schemes
  • Protected research time for clinicians and allied health professionals through the centres

Our network

Our network brings together 7 locations with complementary strengths in radiobiology and radiation oncology. Our objective is to create a network with comprehensive expertise covering a broad range of topics and tumour sites.

We’re also supporting networking activity. This includes a RadNet Steering Board to coordinate activity between the centres, and promotes academic collaboration and commercial partnership both nationally and internationally. Working groups will bring together expertise around individual scientific themes, challenges or strategic priority areas.

Each location has its own research priorities that build on local strengths. These represent an ideal opportunity to partner with them in shared areas of interest.

Cambridge Radnet Centre

CRUK RadNet Cambridge

  1. DNA damage response and resistance
  2. Defining drug-radiation combinations
  3. Developing clinically relevant models
  4. Translation-rich neo-adjuvant trials
  5. Radiogenomics and radiomics
Photograph of a radiographer working in a control room

CRUK RadNet City of London

  1. Radiation resistance
  2. Radiation combinations
  3. Targeting and technology
  • Cross-cutting: Outcomes and risks
  • Cross-cutting: Clinical translation
Glasgow Radnet Centre

CRUK RadNet Glasgow

  1. Tumour biology and radiation response
  2. Development of preclinical models
  3. Preclinical and clinical imaging
  4. Clinical radiotherapy research
Photograph of a model of a radiotherapy table in a control room.

CRUK Radnet ICR and RMH

  1. Molecular responses to DNA damage
  2. Radiation-induced immune responses
  3. Translational and clinical research
Leeds Radnet Centre

CRUK RadNet Leeds

  1. Personalised and adaptive radiotherapy
  2. Re-irradiation
  3. Combining radiotherapy with novel therapies
Photograph of a radiotherapy patient and healthcare professional

CRUK RadNet Manchester

  1. Immunological effect of radiotherapy
  2. Treating complex comorbid patients
  3. Tumour microenvironment and genetic instability
  • Cross cutting: Proton vs photon
  • Cross cutting: FLASH radiotherapy
  • Cross cutting: Biomarkers

CRUK RadNet Oxford

  1. Radiotherapy and the immune response
  2. Imaging and oxygen consumption
  3. Ultra-fast delivery of irradiation
  4. AI and machine learning

Why RadNet and why now

Our £56 million investment in RadNet represents a strategic shift in how we support radiation research. The network is one outcome of an independent review we commissioned in 2017 to understand how we should best support this strategically important field. This was launched in response to the changing clinical and research landscape in the UK and the opportunity this created.

Currently around 40% of cancer patients in the UK receive radiotherapy as part of their treatment, and our research strategy identified the key role of radiotherapy in achieving our ambition of 3 in 4 patients surviving their cancer by 2034. However, our review identified many opportunity areas, including:

  • Biological response of tumour and non-malignant cells to ionising radiation
  • Signatures of cellular damage induced by alternative particle and photon radiation sources
  • Inherent radio-resistance or sensitivity of different tumour types/subtypes
  • Evolution of radio-resistance to radiotherapy and tolerance to DNA damage.
  • Radiation response at the tissue level and the influence of the of stroma.
  • Contribution of immune system to radiotherapy response
  • Novel preclinical models to study radiotherapy response, resistance and toxicity  
  • Novel opportunities to exploit synthetic lethality through therapeutic combinations
  • Predictive biomarkers to enable stratification and personalisation of radio- or combination therapy
  • Innovative clinical trial design with sufficient power for biomarker endpoints
  • Surrogate markers of late toxicity from radiotherapy, and potential mitigation strategies
  • Hypothesis driven combination trials of novel therapeutics with radiotherapy modalities.
  • Imaging approaches and intra-therapy biomarkers to enable adaptive treatment planning.
  • artificial intelligence as a tool to enable personalisation of radiotherapy,