University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB)  is one of the country’s leading cancer research and treatment hospitals, recruiting patients for trials for trials in treating cancers in all the major tumour sites. The study and treatment of cancer is called oncology.

The Cancer Research Team is led by Professor Nick James who chairs the relevant committees overseeing the cancer research portfolio.

The hospital also comprises, with the School of Cancer Sciences, the country’s first Cancer Research UK Centre, an Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (lead by Prof Dion Morton) as well as a Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research Centre of Excellence (lead by Prof Charlie Craddock). The size and location of the hospital means it treats thousands of patients with a wide range of cancers, including some of the most rare and complex forms of the disease.

Urological cancers

One of the major areas of research is urological cancers. Professor Nick James has an extensive portfolio of research ranging from phase I gene therapy trials to being Chief Investigator on national and international trials.

Dr Daniel Ford and Dr Anjali Zarkar are doing cutting edge work on new techniques for prostate cancer radiotherapy. Dr Emilio Porfiri is a recognised national expert on kidney cancer and leads research in this area.

On the surgical side, the Trust has a rapidly expanding portfolio of research following the appointment of two senior lecturers in urology, Mr Prashant Patel and Mr Richard Viney.

Leukaemia and lymphoma

Blood-borne cancers such as leukaemia are one the hospital’s specialties, led by the work at the Centre for Clinical Haematology. The centre’s work is led by Dr Mark Cook, the Clinical Service Lead for Clinical Haematology, and Professor Charlie Craddock, who is also Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Unit and Medical Director for stem cell register Anthony Nolan.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer accounts for around 16% of all cancers in the UK, with nearly 50,000 new diagnoses and 12,000 deaths every year. UHB is a leading clinical and research centre for this deadly disease. Dr Andrea Stevens and Dr Daniel Rea are among UHB’s leading breast cancer experts. Dr Stevens has a particular focus on radiotherapy for lymphoma and haematological malignancies. 

Head and neck

The hospital is very active in treating and researching head and neck cancers, led by Dr Andrew Hartley and Dr Paul Sanghera. Dr Hartley’s work focuses on definitive chemoradiation of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Dr Sanghera is also heavily involved in brain tumour (neuro-oncology) research.


Colorectal cancer is an important area of research at UHB, led by Dr Neil Steven, who has a particular interest in immunotherapy and virus-associated malignancy.


Important work is also going on in neurosurgery, led by Professor Garth Cruickshank, who is involved in clinical trials to explore a number of translational techniques, such as the delivery of antisense compounds to control the release of TGF beta 2 in human tumours, and depo therapies with nano particles and drug eluting beads to deliver loco-regional Irinotecan for patients with recurrent gliomas. He is also involved in commercial trials, such as testing the impact of the additional anti-VEGF compounds such as Bevacizumab in conjunction with conventional chemo-radiation therapy in the treatment of primary malignant glioblastoma.

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