• The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
• Oglesby Cancer Research Building
• MFT - Royal Manchester Children's Hopsital

Manchester is home to one of 18 Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) as part of the national ECMC Network. Manchester ECMC is a founding member of the ECMC North  - a network of six ECMCs across northern England and Northern Ireland who work closely together to provide access to early phase trials to patients in this area.  Manchester  is also a paediatric ECMC and as such Manchester offers ‘cradle to grave’ access to experimental cancer medicine.

Early phase clinical trials are conducted within the NIHR Clinical Research Facility at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, a dedicated unit staffed by an expert team with significant  early phase trial experience.  The CRF has close links to translational laboratories through which Manchester ECMC supports clinicians as well as basic and translational scientists. Our portfolio includes small molecules, gene therapy and immunotherapy, as well as combination therapies.

An active ECM programme operates across many cancer types, including rare cancers, delivering experimental drugs to approximately 300 patients a year. Our aim is to offer access to novel therapies for patients at all stages of treatment and to be a leader in molecular profiling, implementing biomarker-led stratified phase 1 trials. The TARGET (Tumour chARacterisation to Guide Experimental Targeted Therapy) trial is implementing liquid biopsy approaches to undertake genetic analysis of circulating tumour DNA in place of tumour biopsy material with the aim of identifying key genomic and/or transcriptional changes in advanced solid cancers that could be used to direct potentially relevant molecularly targeted phase I clinical trials for the benefit of our patients.   This has involved the establishment of a monthly molecular tumour board comprising scientists, bioinformaticians, clinicians and ethicists who are able to review up to a dozen cases per hour. To date, molecular data has been able to inform trial enrolment for a significant number of patients for whom genetic analysis has been completed.

We are harnessing the power of big data; the collection of real-time outcome information, including Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMs), for all treatments allows us run real-world trials and incorporate multimorbidity.

Our digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team (dECMT) works to utilise digital technology within early phase trials, maximising patient engagement and facilitating faster clinical decision-making. Innovative mobile phone apps enable trial participants to have a voice and investigators to track efficacy and tolerability at their fingertips.



Medical Oncology


  • Andrew Hughes – Strategic Director, Digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team
  • Donal Landers - Director, Digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team
  • Amanda Rees – Head of Research Operations ECMC and ECMT