Aerodigestive Cancer

Two intestinal tumours from a homozygous confetti mouse

Lung and bowel cancer are the two most common forms of cancer death in the UK, so discovering new ways to diagnose, monitor and treat aerodigestive malignancies is a key priority for the CRUK Cambridge Centre. To improve survival rates, patients need to be identified when their disease is at an early or even pre-cancerous stage. Our research strategy therefore focuses on prevention, early intervention in high risk individuals and early detection.

Welcome to the Aerodigestive Cancer Programme

Programme Contacts

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Programme Lead
Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, University of Cambridge
Not applicable/other
Programme Lead
Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Communications Manager

Our programme is a pan-Cambridge network of over 60 researchers, including clinicians and cancer scientists who meet regularly to design and drive research in aerodigestive malignancies. Our cancers of interest comprise lung, intestinal (oesophageal, gastric, colorectal and rare small bowel tumours), hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma as well as head and neck malignancy.

The Aerodigestive Programme co-leads are Simon Buczacki – Group Leader at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and Honorary Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, and Dr Robert Rintoul – Reader in Thoracic Oncology and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician.

Our programme members are based within multiple institutes, university departments and hospitals across Cambridge, including Addenbrooke’s Hospital, CRUK-Cambridge Institute, MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology, Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Wellcome Sanger Institute and Astra Zeneca.

Research groups funded or supported by our Programme investigate diverse aspects of aerodigestive cancer including pure clinical research, translational studies as well as fundamental basic biology. Examples of such research include the study of normal and malignant intestinal stem cells, identifying molecular markers of drug response, developing photodynamic therapy to prevent lung cancer and the application of novel combinatorial therapies in advanced colorectal cancer. We also have Programme members who lead gastric, oesophageal and early stage lung cancer clinical trials, enabling patients to benefit from the latest innovations in cancer science.

The Aerodigestive Programme actively supports the CRUK-Cambridge Centre’s formal education and training, to develop the cancer leaders of tomorrow. With many leading research groups, we also offer a wealth of opportunities for postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.

If you are interested in joining the Aerodigestive Programme or would like any further information, please do get in touch.