Imaging centre


General enquiries
Tina Barker

Group lead
Professor Michael Seckl

Disease areas

What we do

The basic research group is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern cancer cell metastasis and resistance to therapies, the principle reasons why patients die from their tumours. We aim to translate these findings into new therapies which the clinical group is then testing in the context of phase I-III trials. Although the main focus is on lung and trophoblastic tumours we are mechanism driven.

Why it is important

Lung cancer is the commonest cancer killer and although trophoblastic cancers are frequently cured there are still a significant number of affected patients that die. In both these tumour types as well as all other cancers, the cause of death is nearly always because of drug resistant metastatic disease. Consequently understanding these processes is crucial to help develop new therapies that might improve survival.

How it can benefit patients

By discovering new targets that mediate resistance to therapy and metastasis, we hope to be able to develop new drugs that block these processes. These agents will potentially enhance the efficacy of existing treatments and the targets may also help serve as biomarkers to select the most appropriate patient for such new treatments

Summary of current research

We have three drug discovery programmes running and two clinical trials open. Please see the London Lung Cancer Alliance for more information on our research.



Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics Departments

External within the UK

  • Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres 
  • Cancer Research UK Centres

Internationally we have many collaborators in multiple countries including:

  • Harvard USA
  • Peking Union Medical College
  • Shanghai Chinese Academy of Sciences in China
  • FAPESP funded institutes in Brazil
  • Nijmegen University in Holland 
  • Radium Institute in Norway 
  • KU Leuven in Belgium

Clinical trials

We have run multiple Phase I-III trials. Examples include the Phase III CR-UK funded LungStar trial and the combinations alliance initiative Phase Ib/IIa RADICAL trial, both of which arose from our pre-clinical work. Some of our studies have lead to changes in international practice. Our Phase II trial of the TE/TP regimen has resulted in this therapy being widely adopted for the management of patients with trophoblastic cancers failing first line multi-agent therapy.

PhD students

When we have funding for PhD studentships, we advertise them through central channels such as Find a PhD. Information is also available on the Surgery and Cancer study page. If no studentships are currently advertised, please get in touch with the group lead with proposed project titles to discuss further. 

Current PhD students: 

  • William Stokes
  • Emily Chater
  • Stelios Chrysostomou
  • Marina Georgiou
  • Yueyang Huang.

Our researchers