• MFT - Royal Manchester Children's Hospital
• The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
• Oglesby Cancer Research Building
• MFT - Saint Mary’s Hospital
• Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre

There is a vibrant tradition of research in Haematological Oncology in Manchester with a large patient population and extensive clinical activity: over 200 bone marrow transplants are carried out across Manchester every year, there is a large portfolio of clinical trial options for patients, and The Christie is one of 13 Bloodwise Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) Centres in the UK as well as a Myeloma UK Phase 1 centre.

Our haematological oncology research can be divided into two key areas: lymphoma and myeloid malignancies. Much of it is focused on the bench-to-bedside translation of basic discoveries aiming for improved patient survival.

Within lymphoma, our clinicians lead practice changing phase III trials and evaluate novel molecules at phases I and II. They also look at how best to combine radiotherapy and immunotherapy in this disease area.

We are also interested in the discovery and evaluation of predictive and prognostic biomarkers, as well as reduction of late toxicity – including secondary malignancies – and the molecular pathology of rare sub-types and therapy resistant disease.

Our researchers are also exploring various fundamental aspects of myeloid malignancies. These include the roles of splicing and misexpressed transcription factors in AML. We are investigating how to target some of these, and identifying other targets through the use of CRISPR screens in patient samples. We also carry out preclinical evaluation of novel therapeutics, in partnership with our Drug Discovery Unit and commercial collaborators, as well as clinical trials of promising new agents.

We have recently created a team to investigate chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia, funded through the Oglesby Charitable Trust. Additionally, scientists within the Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre study the proteomics of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) stem cells.


  • What is the best combination of radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer patients?
  • Can we develop new and innovative treatments for Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and better understand late effects of treatment?
  • How does the biology of disordered leukaemia stem cells (LSCs) differ in comparison with normal haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)?
  • Can we be more effective at seeking out and destroying leukaemia cells?
  • How are blood cells generated during development?
  • What is the clonal and functional collaboration between IDH and SRSF2 mutations in acute myeloid leukaemia?
  • What is the biological basis for chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia and its related myeloid disorders?


Proteomic analysis of JAK2V617F-induced changes identifies potential new combinatorial therapeutic approaches.
Pearson S, Williamson AJK, Blance R, Somervaille TCP, Taylor S, Azadbakht N, Whetton AD, Pierce A.
Leukemia. 2018 Feb;32(2):574. doi: 10.1038/leu.2017.333.

Tissue-inappropriate derepression of FOXC1 is frequent and functional in human acute myeloid leukemia.
Somerville TD, Somervaille TC.
Mol Cell Oncol. 2016 Jan 19;3(2):e1131355. doi: 10.1080/23723556.2015.1131355

Dual targeting of p53 and c-MYC selectively eliminates leukaemic stem cells.
Abraham SA, Hopcroft LE, Carrick E, Drotar ME, Dunn K, Williamson AJ, Korfi K, Baquero P, Park LE, Scott MT, Pellicano F, Pierce A, Copland M, Nourse C, Grimmond SM, Vetrie D, Whetton AD, Holyoake TL.
Nature. 2016 Jun 16;534(7607):341-6. doi: 10.1038/nature18288.

GFI1 proteins orchestrate the emergence of Haematopoietic Stem Cells through recruitment of LSD1. 
Thambyrajah, R., Mazan, M., Patel, R., Moignard, V. R., Stefanska, M., Marinopoulou, E., Li, Y., et al. (2015). 
Nature Cell Biology, 18 21-32. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncb3276

Frequent Derepression of the Mesenchymal Transcription Factor Gene FOXC1 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Somerville TD, Wiseman DH, Spencer GJ, Huang X, Lynch JT, Leong HS, Williams EL, Cheesman E, Somervaille TC.
Cancer Cell. 2015 Sep 14;28(3):329-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2015.07.017.

Derepression of the Iroquois Homeodomain Transcription Factor Gene IRX3 Confers Differentiation Block in Acute Leukemia.
Somerville TDD, Simeoni F, Chadwick JA, Williams EL, Spencer GJ, Boros K, Wirth C, Tholouli E, Byers RJ, Somervaille TCP.
Cell Reports. 2018 Jan 16;22(3):638-652. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.12.063.

Results of a trial of PET-directed therapy for early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Radford J, Illidge T, Counsell N, Hancock B, Pettengell R, Johnson P, Wimperis J, Culligan D, Popova B, Smith P, McMillan A, Brownell A, Kruger A, Lister A, Hoskin P, O'Doherty M, Barrington S.
N Engl J Med. 2015 Apr 23;372(17):1598-607. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1408648.

Changes in the incidence, patterns and outcomes of graft failure following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for Hurler syndrome.
Lum SH, Miller WP, Jones S, Poulton K, Ogden W, Lee H, Logan A, Bonney D, Lund TC, Orchard PJ, Wynn RF.
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2017 Jun;52(6):846-853. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2017.5.


Clinical Oncology

Medical Oncology


  • Chuane Dalla Torre
  • Tamara Garcia
  • Susan Neeson
  • Vicky Sheard
  • Hannah Shell
  • Jo Tomlins
  • Andrea Whitmore

Paediatric Oncology