Thoracic Cancer

Thoracic Cancer Programme

The Thoracic Cancer Programme is a pan-Cambridge network, including clinicians and cancer scientists, who meet regularly to design and drive research in thoracic malignancies. Our cancers of interest comprise lung, mesotheliomaadvanced disease oesophageal, and head and neck malignancy. The programme is co-led by Prof. Robert Rintoul – Reader in Thoracic Oncology and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician, and Dr. Daniel Muñoz-Espín – Group Leader in the Department of Oncology.

If you would like to join this network, get in touch with our programme manager.

Welcome to the Thoracic Cancer Programme

Lung and oesophageal cancers share poor five-year survival and have only realised limited improvement in the past decade. Improving the quality and quantity of research into these cancers of unmet need is therefore a key priority for CRUK and one shared by our Thoracic Cancer programme here at 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 cancer prevention, early detection, and a more precise intervention in high-risk individuals.

Cambridge Symposium on Oesophageal Cancer, #CamSOC2024, Thursday 7 November 2024
Cam-SOC2024 : Save the date!

The Thoracic Cancer programme and Early Cancer Institute are delighted to announce the first Cambridge Symposium on Oesophageal Cancer, happening on Thursday 7 November 2024 in the CRUK Cambridge Institute Lecture Theatre, Li Ka Shing Centre, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0RE.

We are welcoming abstracts for posters and for a chance to present a short talk at the symposium! Please indicate your interest while registering or send us an email.

Registration is open on our Eventbrite page(link is external). Please sign up to save a spot!

For further details please email

What's New in Thoracic Cancer?

Join us on the 27th of June to hear from Dr. Niki Veale, Dr. Tim Halim, and Miss Ekpemi Irune!

Programme Members

Our programme members are based within multiple institutes, university departments and hospitals across Cambridge, including Royal Papworth Hospital, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, CRUK Cambridge Institute, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Wellcome Sanger Institute and Astra Zeneca, making our programme a truly multidisciplinary scientific network.

Research Groups

Research groups funded or supported by our programme investigate diverse aspects of thoracic cancers, from fundamental basic cancer biology to pure clinical research and translational studies. We also have programme members who lead oesophageal and early stage lung cancer clinical trials, enabling patients to benefit from the latest innovations in cancer science.

Training and Education

The Thoracic Cancer 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.

Programme Contacts

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, University of Cambridge
Department of Oncology
Programme Lead
University of Cambridge
Department of Oncology
Programme Lead - Principal Research Associate
University of Cambridge
Department of Biochemistry
Training Director
University of Cambridge
Department of Oncology
Programme Manager

Selected publications

  • Lung cancer in never smokers (LCINS): development of a UK national research strategy
    BJC Reports
    20 Jul 2023
  • Clearance of senescent macrophages ameliorates tumorigenesis in KRAS-driven lung cancer
    Cancer Cell
  • BAP1 Loss Is Associated with Higher ASS1 Expression in Epithelioid Mesothelioma: Implications for Therapeutic Stratification
    Molecular Cancer Research
    1 May 2023
  • Diagnostic Accuracy of a Convolutional Neural Network Assessment of Solitary Pulmonary Nodules Compared With PET With CT Imaging and Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced CT Imaging Using Unenhanced and Contrast-Enhanced CT Imaging
    8 Sep 2022
  • Defining the road map to a UK national lung cancer screening programme
    The Lancet Oncology
  • Dynamic contrast-enhanced CT compared with positron emission tomography CT to characterise solitary pulmonary nodules: the SPUtNIk diagnostic accuracy study and economic modelling
    Health Technology Assessment