Research Themes

Research themes banner

The MCRC supports research activities across a range of disease sites and cross-cutting research themes. Our strengths span the spectrum of basic, discovery translational and clinical research. Explore more about the research within various disease sites through the links below.

Academic Oncologic Pathology

To realise the potential of personalised healthcare for all, we need to be able to routinely analyse samples from patients and analyse the molecular features of tumours, circulating tumour biomarkers from the beginning of the patient journey.

Cancer Genomics

Cancer genomics is the study of mutations. It encompasses a broad scientific field including discovering the environmental factors that cause the mutations, the molecular mechanisms by which they are caused and those mutations most likely to cause cancer.

Cancer Biomarkers and Liquid Biopsies

Biomarkers are an essential diagnostic aid in cancer sciences. They help researchers and doctors understand what tumour a person might have, or indicate the presence of risk factors that can lead to an individual developing cancer later in life.

Clinical Studies

Developing, evaluating and deploying new treatments is essential in the fight against cancer.

Experimental and Precision Cancer Medicine

Precision medicine has become a primary area of interest within the oncology research field in recent years and is rapidly evolving. The main premise of this approach is to provide targeted treatments according to an individual’s tumour genetic makeup, sparing the patient from receiving treatments that are not likely to help. Precision medicine holds a great promise for cancer patients with the development of more efficient targeted treatments and with less associated toxic effects.


Investigating how we can engineer the immune system to target cancer cells, and use the body’s defences against cancerous cells.

Prevention and Early Detection

Prevention and early detection is about combating cancer before the disease becomes too difficult to treat. Prevention is about understanding the causes of cancer, assessing cancer risk where possible and mitigating against the risks. Early detection relies on the ability to identify cancer in its infancy or in a pre-cancerous state, before the disease has spread and while it is still relatively easy to treat.

Radiotherapy Related Research

Radiotherapy involves the use of photon or charged particle beams to kill cancer cells, and is used in the treatment of more than half of all cancers and is a very effective treatment.