Supporting research throughout the cycle of discovery.

The vision of the Centre spans the research spectrum – from fundamental sciences through the translational pipeline and into clinical care with outputs feeding back into a cycle of discovery. To deliver this vision, we have focused our activity in key themes with our investments emphasising support for translational activity. We seek to partner with other funding bodies to continue to develop our fundamental sciences and deliver our clinical trials portfolio. We also pursue collaborative opportunities with other institutions across the UK and internationally to support our research objectives. As a CRUK-funded Centre we are committed to complimenting the priorities of CRUK’s new research strategy; looking for new opportunities to support their vision to beat cancer sooner.

Research Strategy

The Centre focuses on its strengths in radiotherapy and early phase trials in small cohorts of molecularly stratified patients, seeking novel combinations of treatments and utilisation of cutting edge technologies. We are expanding the definition of ‘personalisation of treatment’: interlinking specific molecular and genetic patient data with functional imaging to select the most effective experimental combination of surgical, radiotherapy and systemic interventions. We are committed to delivering this vision of precision medicine, through the Precision Cancer Medicine Institute (PCMI).

To achieve this bold ambition we must draw from the broad range of expertise Oxford provides; from mathematicians to surgeons, chemists to epidemiologists, biologists to medical oncologists. We will work with scientists and clinicians from a variety of disciplines and not allow traditional boundaries to prevent new collaborations. We also foster networking in the Centre creating an ongoing dialogue across our wide ranging membership, leading to collaborations with help research realise its clinical impact.

Scientific Areas of Interest

Our disease sites of interest reflect the breadth and depth of activity here in Oxford. We have well established programmes in breast, melanoma, colorectal, urological, sarcoma, ovarian and blood cancers, where our work integrates internal research activity from across a range of disciplines to engage or lead in national and international networks. We aim to further expand our programmes in oesophageal, pancreas, brain and lung cancers through further investment in recruitment, support of our strategic working groups and engagement with national research networks. We see these as critical areas of focus for the future; to apply our world leading research to areas which can have significant impact for patients and to support CRUK’s ambition of addressing areas of unmet need. We are also expanding our scientific focus to include emerging areas of interest including tumour immunology, clinical informatics and proton beam therapy.

Other Areas of Activity

We invest in underpinning platforms of support which span the breadth of our cancer research community. Schemes such as the Development Fund, our networking events and working groups, and the Centre’s Annual Symposium provide the springboard for new ideas and innovations to be launched. All members across the Centre have access to these activities, which offer the opportunity for new connections, deeper collaborations and research innovation. We also foster a culture of engagement to enable Oxford’s science and CRUK’s investment to reach a wider audience. We believe that inspiring people with our research can bring hope that beating cancer is within reach.

Finally, our training programme for the Centre’s clinical and non-clinical students takes full advantage of the enriched training environment that Oxford provides and enables us to recruit the best trainees, who we hope will go on to become our future leaders.

For the future, we aim to continue to raising Oxford’s national and international reputation for cancer research; driving the research agenda and delivering world-class research which will be of benefit to patients.