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Research overview

Dr Udai Banerji, Clinical Pharmacology & Trials team

The Clinical Pharmacology and Trials Team is responsible for the study of the preclinical and clinical pharmacology, and for the early clinical trials, of new anti-cancer agents developed in the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit.

Such investigations may include the study of mechanisms of action and resistance, toxicology, pharmacokinetics, early dose-finding studies and the development of pharmacodynamic biomarkers for the measurement of drug action in tumour and surrogate tissues. These may be molecular assays or functional imaging studies. The emphasis is increasingly on hypothesis-testing clinical trials of agents acting on new molecular targets including cell signalling, cell survival, the cell cycle control machinery, chromatin modulation and angiogenesis.

The Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) Group (led by Dr Florence Raynaud), within the Clinical Pharmacology and Trials Team, is a multidisciplinary group studying the pharmacokinetics of anti-cancer drugs in clinical trials. The group helps to characterise and prioritise the best drugs to enter the clinic: once in clinical trials, the group conducts and analyses pharmacokinetic data crucial to make go/no-go decisions, as well as decisions on optimal doses and schedules of novel anti-cancer drugs.

The Clinical Pharmacodynamic Biomarker Group works with drug discovery teams to transfer assays used in drug discovery to platforms that can be used to assay human tissue sampled during clinical trials.


  • To conduct first-in-human hypothesis-testing phase I studies of novel anti-cancer drugs
  • The clinical development of new discoveries within the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit
  • To discover, develop and apply new pharmacodynamic markers
  • Define the clinical context for novel targets and develop combination strategies for novel agents discovered at the ICR.
  • Develop non-invasive imaging techniques for evaluation of pharmacodynamic effects of anticancer agents in tumours. 


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Research overview