The division consists of teams investigating a number of tumour types, including breast prostate, paediatric, skin and blood cancers. Researchers are comprehensively characterising the molecular features of cancer, and through strong links with other colleagues elsewhere in The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, aim to establish new molecular diagnostics and novel molecular therapeutic targets in cancer.
Researchers in the division have successfully developed personalised medicine strategies for blood cancers – myeloma, leukaemia and lymphomas. They are now looking to do the same for breast and paediatric cancers, along with rarer cancers, such as soft-tissue sarcomas for which few treatments are available.
Researchers are also examining changes in the cancer epigenome to provide understanding of tumour development and response to treatment; and using deep sequencing technologies to identify specific molecular alterations that lead to drug resistance not only in individual tumours, but in specific metastatic sites.
The division houses the ICR’s new Tumour Profiling Unit, which is designed to accelerate moves towards individualised cancer treatment, by analysing tumours with the latest sequencing technologies and modelling their behaviour using mouse xenografts. The TPU houses state-of-the-art technology for genomic, proteomic and epigenetic analysis of tumours, allowing patient biopsies to be analysed at diagnosis and throughout treatment.