Our research in Southampton

Last year we spent over £6m on research in Southampton. By sharing their expertise, scientists, doctors and nurses are improving the care of patients across Southampton and beyond.

Tackling treatment resistance in lymphoma

Dr Sean Lim, immunology researcher at the Cancer Research UK Southampton Centre

Dr Sean Lim is leading the RiVa trial, to see whether combining two immunotherapy drugs could help patients who are not responding to treatment. 

Improving diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Dr Francesco Forconi

Dr Francesco Forconi is part of an international team of blood cancer experts who are aiming to improve the early diagnosis and treatment of one of the most common forms of leukaemia.

360 surgery video sheds light on research into oesophageal cancer

Professor Tim Underwood

Surgeon-scientist Professor Tim Underwood is using tumour tissue removed during operations to study how cancer cells hijack healthy cells, and hopefully find new targets for cancer treatments. 

What we're doing now

The dedicated team in Southampton is made up of experts in a wide range of disciplines, including clinical trials and immunotherapy, which uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Scientists in Southampton are focussing on blood, breast, head and neck, lung and oesophageal (food pipe) cancers.

Professor Tim Elliott is leading an international team of experts whose aim is to optimise immunotherapy treatments for patients and support the development of new drugs.
Professor Mark Cragg and Professor Steve Beers are looking at how antibody therapies can boost the immune response to cancer, in the hope of making immunotherapy treatments more effective.
Meanwhile, Dr Yury Bogdanov is researching whether blocking the activity of a particular molecule found in the body, called GABA, could boost the power of the immune system to fight cancer.

Professor Peter Johnson is investigating how lymphoma cells survive despite damage to their DNA, so we can learn how to better treat this disease. And Professor Graham Packham is leading a team of researchers studying blood cancers, with a particular focus on chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.


Professor Andrew Davies leads the Southampton Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC). ECMCs are unique partnerships between CRUK and the National Institute for Health Research in England to bring together lab scientists and cancer doctors to speed up the flow of ideas and new treatments from the lab to the clinic. 

The Southampton Clinical Trials Unit delivers innovative and practice-changing clinical research that impacts the care and outcomes for cancer patients in the UK and across the world. And our Senior Research Nurse facilitates the delivery of high-quality clinical trials and studies, getting new treatments into the clinic sooner. 

The Cancer Research UK Southampton Centre is a partnership between the University of Southampton, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cancer Research UK.

In Southampton

  • 1,100 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
  • 53% of cancers are diagnosed early.
  • We spent over £6m on life-saving research in 2020/21.

We receive no government funding for our research. Our life-saving work relies on the money you give us.

Cancer news

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