Manchester ECMC is leading the way in cancer research with an unwavering focus on offering the best treatment options to patients through precision medicine.
Our work takes into consideration the complex genetics and evolution of cancer and how this affects the way in which an individual responds to treatments. This is done through a renewed concentration on molecular profiling, biobanking, imaging, biomarker discovery and radiotherapy related research; as well as a focus on prevention and early detection.
The centre supports the newly refurbished NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) at The Christie Hospital, now operating as one of the top recruiting centres in Europe. Our active early phase I/II clinical trial programme operates across many cancer types, delivering novel experimental cancer medicine drugs to approximately 300 patients a year. These adaptive studies use digital technology and digital science to optimise patient engagement and clinical decision making.
We are closely aligned with the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and the University of Manchester- the latter having declared cancer as one their five research beacons. Manchester ECMC is also a part of ‘ECMC North’- a network of six northern ECMC’s to give patients better access to the broadest range of experimental cancer medicine clinical trials possible. All of these collaborations and networks are driving forward the continuous development of our research.
Dr Cook is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Experimental Cancer Medicine at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust/Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester. She is also the clinical lead for Manchester Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and is director for the MRes in Experimental Medicine at the University of Manchester. She previously trained in Medical Oncology in Cambridge, UK, where she completed a PhD, funded by a CRUK Clinical Training fellowship.
In 2012, Dr Cook was awarded the Rothwell Jackson Postgraduate Travelling Fellowship and travelled to Canada to undertake a 2 year drug development research fellowship, based at the University of Toronto and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. In her current position she is co-investigator on a portfolio of over 50 early phase clinical trials, and is a Principal Investigator on over 20 trials. She has research interests in clinical trial design, pre-clinical model development, colorectal cancer and carcinoma of unknown primary site.
Professor Caroline Dive is internationally renowned for advancing circulating biomarker research, with a strong focus on circulating tumour cells (CTCs), particularly in lung cancer. Manchester ECMC has extensive capabilities in biomarker science, with particular strengths in circulating, tissue and imaging biomarkers. The Centre, under Professor Dive’s direction has developed a broad portfolio of circulating biomarker assays, with world-leading facilities for the enumeration and molecular characterisation of circulating tumour cells (CTCs).
Professor Dive has also overseen development of a comprehensive ‘tool kit’ to assess circulating nucleic acids (cfDNA and miRNA) and a series of sensitive GCPL multiplex ELISA panels for biomarkers of angiogenesis and cell death.More recently, Professor Dive and her ECMC team has developed a unique approach to study small cell lung cancer using patient-derived circulating tumour cell explant mouse models (CDX). CDX tumours will shed light on mechanisms of drug resistance, facilitate novel drug target identification and be used to test novel agents.
Circulating tumour cells are being extensively investigated in the network as a potential route to monitor response to treatment and the development of resistance.
Scientists at the Manchester ECMC published a seminal paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2012 on the pronostic significance of CTCs in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and have set up CTC analysis in five SCLC trials.
Recently published in Nature Medicine, Manchester ECMC has also developed a unique approach to study small cell lung cancer. Circulating tumour cell samples taken at patient presententation and again at relapse will shed light on the mechanisms of drug resistance, facilitate novel drug target identification and be used to test novel agents.
One or two case studies showcasing and selling your centre (recent)
The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre initiative is jointly funded by Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research in England and the Departments of Health for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.