Current research into cancer biology
Cell Motility Laboratory at the LRI
For the past 120 years, we’ve been making discoveries that have saved countless lives. But we have so much more to do. Our strategy sets out how we'll accelerate progress towards a better future.
Saving lives through our research
From uncovering the genetic mistakes behind cancer to investigating how the disease spreads, our researchers are working hard to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Below are some examples of what our researchers are doing right now.
Our current researchers
Tackling hard to treat tumours
Dr Simona Parrinello in London researches how healthy nerve cells are made. Now, with Cancer Research UK funding, she is applying her expertise to brain tumours. In particular, she’s looking at glioblastoma which has cells that can develop like healthy brain cells. She hopes to shed light on how glioblastoma develops and spreads, and why sometimes treatment stops working.
Tracking bowel cancer from the beginning
Professor Owen Sansom is Director of our CRUK Scotland Institute (formerly the Beatson Institute) in Glasgow, where he is tracking the early changes that turn healthy bowel cells into cancer cells. His work is revealing how the disease develops, and could identify markers of the disease as well as ways to develop new treatments. As part of one of our winning Grand Challenge teams, he is also studying how bowel cancers get the energy they need to keep growing.
Running the TRACERx study
Professor Charles Swanton, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician, is aiming to improve outcomes for people with lung cancer. He is running the TRACERx study, one of the largest ever genetic studies of lung cancer patients. This pioneering project aims to follow around 850 people with non-small-cell lung cancer to study how their cancers change over time and why sometimes, treatment stops working.
Understanding cancer’s metabolism
At the CRUK Scotland Institute in Glasgow, Dr Thomas MacVicar is investigating how the transport of molecules called metabolites in and out of mitochondria in pancreatic cancer cells help them to perform special reactions that allow them to survive and become resistant to treatment. By researching the role of these metabolites, we can identify new therapeutic targets for pancreatic cancer treatments.