Cancer

The cancer theme is focused on our world-leading reputation in bone oncology, as well as translational research strengths in cancer genomics, the tumour microenvironment, thoracic and rare cancers.

An oncology (cancer) research image

We are a European Centre of Excellence for Neuroendocrine Tumours and have an international reputation in Ocular Melanoma, being one of 3 UK Centres of Excellence. We hold Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) status in recognition of our clinical trials expertise. We are also home to the Sheffield Cancer Centre bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of internationally recognised scientists and clinicians.

Meet the team

Dr Nasreen Akhtar

Email: n.akhtar@sheffield.ac.uk

Regulation of epithelial polarity and morphogenesis of normal breast tissue and how these signals are subverted in breast cancer

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Professor Janet Brown

Email: j.e.brown@sheffield.ac.uk

Research includes the use of biomarkers in established bone metastasis to aid patient management and studies of the negative impact of cancer treatments on bone health.

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Professor Nicola Brown

Email: n.j.brown@sheffield.ac.uk

My research interests include the regulation of angiogenesis in both primary and metastatic tumour progress particularly in breast; the use of preclinical models to determine both the biological and mechanical modulation of the microenvironment to vascular-targeted and combination treatment strategies.

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Dr Helen Bryant

Email: h.bryant@sheffield.ac.uk

The aim of my research is to understand what happens in a cell when DNA replication is slowed or stopped by damage in DNA. I want to understand which proteins bind to the arrested DNA, whether they are modified in any way and what significance this has on the re-establishment of replication.

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Professor Jim Catto

Email: j.catto@sheffield.ac.uk

James is head of the Academic Urology Unit, encompassing an NIHR Clinical Lecturers NIHR ACFs, post-docs, technicians, Research Nurses and PhD students. The team research the translational application of molecular biology to urological malignancies, in particular Bladder and Prostate Cancer, and partake in clinical trials focused on improving the care of patients with these cancers. James's particular interest is in the epigenetic alterations seen within these tumours.

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Dr Andrew Chantry

Email: a.d.chantry@sheffielda.c.uk

Anabolic strategies in the treatment of myeloma bone disease and novel strategies to target myeloma tumour.

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Professor Philippe Clezardin

Email: p.clezarding@sheffield.ac.uk

My main research interest is the understanding of molecular mechanisms that govern breast cancer cell colonization of the bone marrow, with the goal of developing novel biomarkers to identify patients at high risk for developing bone metastasis.

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Dr Spencer Collis

Email: s.collis@sheffield.ac.uk

Research interests: My lab focuses on furthering our understanding of how human cells maintain the integrity of their genome, and how this impacts on the development and progression of human disease. We also aim to exploit our knowledge of such genome maintenance mechanisms to help develop new and improved treatments for diseases such as cancer.

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Dr Bernard Corfe

Email: b.m.corfe@sheffield.ac.uk

Examining the relationship between diet, short-chain fatty acid production and metabolism and cell fate in the normal and neoplastic colon

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Professor Angela Cox

Email: a.cox@sheffield.ac.uk

The identification and characterisation of both inherited and somatic genetic variants associated with cancer, and the use of circulating cell-free DNA as a source of tumour biomarkers. Tumours shed DNA into the circulation (ctDNA), and the ctDNA can be used to identify therapeutically-relevant tumour mutations, and prognostic biomarkers.

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Professor Sarah Danson

Email: s.danson@sheffield.ac.uk

My clinical and research interests are in melanoma and lung cancer.

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Dr William English

Email: w.english@sheffield.ac.uk

My team's research investigates how the tumour microenvironment regulates metastasis and response to therapy. We have a particular interest in the function of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor family of ligands and receptors in non-vascular cells in soft-tissue sarcoma as well as ovarian and colorectal cancer.

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Dr Annica Gad

Dr Gad’s research is now aimed at the identification of the molecular mechanisms that govern cancer cell metastasis and the cancer-promoting ability of cancer-associated fibroblasts. Her approach is via the control of the mechanical properties of cells, with the further aim being the development of drugs against cancer metastasis. As such drugs will be based only on cell mechanics, they will represent a previously unknown, mechano-based, class of drugs. Her research is thus focussed on how regulators of the cytoskeleton control cellular contractile forces and cellular stiffness, through approaches that include bioengineering, biochemistry and advanced microscopy, such as super-resolution florescence microscopy, collodial probe atomic force microscopy, and traction force microscopy.

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Professor Alison Gartland

Email: a.gartland@sheffield.ac.uk

Research interests are in P2 receptor signalling in musculoskeletal disease and cancer. The role of P2 purinoreceptor ligands (ATP and other nucleotides) as extracellular messengers is well established and there is now conclusive evidence, from Professor Gartland's previous work and that of others, that extracellular nucleotides have a highly influential role in the bone microenvironment. In addition to their roles in bone, nucleotides and P2 receptor signalling have been shown to play a role in cancer.

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Professor Thomas Helleday

Email: t.helleday@sheffield.ac.uk

In 2005, whilst initially at the University of Sheffield, Professor Helleday and his team of researchers demonstrated how PARP inhibitors (poly-ADP ribose polymerase) could be used as a tailored treatment for patients with BRCA2 mutations, which are seen in both hereditary ovarian and breast cancer.

The discovery, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, was patent-protected and licensed to the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, who continued the development process and undertook successful clinical trials.

The Lynparza (olaparib) drug has now become the first treatment to be approved for secondary breast cancer patients with the BRCA gene mutation.

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Professor Ingunn Holen

Email: i.holen@sheffield.ac.uk

Research focussed on tumour cell dissemination in bone, and how this is influenced by the microenvironment in breast and prostate cancer. In particular we use cutting edge technology to study the early stages of bone metastasis and how single cancer cells may remain dormant or start to proliferate when encountering different environments

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Professor Syed Hussain

My major areas of interest are management of urological cancers, clinical trials, early drug development and translational medicine.

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Dr Aymen Idris

Email: aymen.idris@sheffield.ac.uk

The primary interest of Dr Idris's group is in the area of pharmacology of inflammation and metastasis.

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Dr Chryso Kanthou

Email: c.kanthou@sheffield.ac.uk

My interests are in the field of endothelial vascular biology and angiogenesis.  Understanding the role played by factors within the tumour microenvironment in vessel network development and to decipher how this impacts on tumour response to vascular-targeted therapies.

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Dr Michelle Lawson

Email: m.a.lawson@sheffield.ac.uk

Myeloma bone disease - investigating the use of bisphosphonates in combination with other bone modulating agents to repair myeloma-induced osteolytic lesions in preclinical models, with the aim of translating these findings into patients.

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Professor Claire Lewis

Email: claire.lewis@sheffield.ac.uk

The role of inflammatory cells called macrophages in tumour progression and responses to conventional anti-cancer treatments like chemotherapy and irradiation.  We have also developed ways of using these cells to target therapeutic genes and viruses to tumours.

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Professor Eugene McCloskey

Email: e.v.mccloskey@sheffield.ac.uk

Metabolic bone diseases - vertebral fracture definition, osteoporosis epidemiology as well as non-invasive assessments of bone strength and fracture risk.

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Dr Munitta Muthana

Email: m.muthana@sheffield.ac.uk

Research focuses on the role of innate immune cells like macrophages in inflammatory disease including cancer and the development of innovative cell-based methods to target anticancer therapies to tumours.

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Dr Penelope Ottewell

Email: p.d.ottewell@sheffield.ac.uk

Research is focused on advanced breast cancer with particular emphasis on bone metastasis. Primarily, this involves using a complement of in vitro and in vivo model systems to investigate the molecular alterations that are acquired by breast cancer cells causing them to metastases to bone.

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Dr Cyril Sanders

Email: c.m.sanders@sheffield.ac.uk

Replication and gene regulation in papillomavirus.  Structure and function of helicases and replication/transcription control proteins. DNA helicases involved in the DNA damage response and their potential as therapeutic targets in cancer.

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Dr Karen Sisley

Email: k.sisley@sheffield.ac.uk

The genetic and biological behaviour of uveal melanoma. Initial studies have lead to a good understanding of some of the principle genetic changes in uveal melanoma and how they correlate and can be used to predict prognosis.

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Professor Tim Skerry

Email: t.skerry@sheffield.ac.uk

The main focus of the lab is now on development of small molecule antagonists of the AM2 adrenomedullin receptor.

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Dr Carolyn Staton

Email: c.a.staton@sheffield.ac.uk

Regulation of angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels from the pre-existing vasculature, in wound healing and tumour development and progression.

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Dr Ruth Thompson

Email: r.h.thompson@sheffield.ac.uk

The aim of my research is to understand what happens when a cell with damaged DNA arrives in mitosis due to dysfunctional interphase checkpoints.

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Dr Chris Toseland

Email: c.toseland@sheffield.ac.uk

Specialises in application of fluorescence and mechanical measurements from whole cells to single molecules. We are a multidisciplinary lab drawing upon core techniques in Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Mechanobiology, Super Resolution single molecule imaging and Genomics Gene expression.

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Dr Ning Wang

Email: n.wang@sheffield.ac.uk

My research interests are focused on bone oncology and bone biology, including how exercise induced cellular changes affect prostate cancer bone metastasis.

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Professor Lynda Wyld

Email: l.wyld@sheffield.ac.uk

How to establish optimal care pathways for older women with breast cancer.

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Related projects and groups

Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) Catalyst for Innovation in Cancer Care and Treatment in Sheffield (YCR CONNECTS) exists to improve cancer outcomes in Yorkshire and beyond through research and innovation.

Find out more about the research projects being conducted in the field of musculoskeletal pharmacology.

Sarcomas are rare cancer that arise from mesenchymal tissue such as bone or connective tissue.

Bridging the Age Gap is an NIHR funded study that aims to optimise the management of older women and reduce the age-gap in cancer outcomes between older and younger women with breast cancer.

The Sheffield Myeloma Research Team are a group of researchers and clinicians dedicated to searching for a cure to myeloma and developing new drugs to deal with myeloma bone disease to improve the quality of life of patients with myeloma.

Find out more about the research projects being conducted in the field of microcirculation.

A new ‘bench to bedside’ scheme to convert innovative research across the University into new clinical trials in Sheffield.

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.