Our International Reputation for Clinical Research

Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) has an international reputation for clinical research. MCRC comprises

  • The Christie founded in 1901: an NHS dedicated cancer hospital and as the largest single centre cancer hospital in Europe, was a founding member in 2007 of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) seeing 14,000 new patients and treating 40,000 patients per annum. Over 2000 patients per annum are enrolled into clinical trials, and approximately 250 patients into Phase 1 cancer trials;
  • The University of Manchester: ranked first in the UK for cancer research in the 2008 Universities RAE exercise;
  • Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute (CRUK MI): which together with Oxford and Cambridge are CRUK's "major centres"

Our Experimental Cancer Medicine Team (ECMT)

The ECMT conducts early phase clinical trials comprising "first-in-human" and "first-in-combination" studies across all major tumour types with the objective of providing a recommended dose and schedule for further (Phase II) testing.

The ECMT also conduct "Regulatory Clinical Pharmacology" trials which seek to characterise the impact of-

  • Food (food interaction studies)
  • Organ impairment (renal and hepatic studies)
  • Concomitant medication (drug-drug interaction studies)
  • Formulation changes (bioequivalence and bioavailability studies)
  • Upon drug exposure (pharmacokinetics)
  • Characterisation of absorption
  • Distribution, metabolism
  • Elimination (ADME) of the drug.

We also conduct "Phase 0" studies designed to qualify biomarkers to clinical trial standards or demonstrate the relevance of molecular targets to human disease. We are expanding our precision medicine capability by the development of multiplex genomic profiling on "liquid" biopsies (blood derived tumour material) in addition to profiling tumour tissue.

We are experienced: Since 2007 over 170 new CTIMP's have been administered across many classes of potential cancer drugs; with our principle investigators having formal accreditation in clinical pharmacology.

We are collaborative: Each study has named single point of contact to face sponsor and effectively operating as an extended clinical study team

We prioritise dedicated investigator time: to safety review meetings, protocol review,publications review and meetings with sponsor which are required to adapt trial or programme strategy

We deliver:

  • Our Median time from protocol receipt to first subject in is 76 days (Metrics available on request),
  • Our Ethics approval to NHS Permission is currently 6 working days median,
  • Our NHS Permission to first consented subject is currently 8 working days median,
  • Our average data entry time=2 days,
  • Every Phase I study achieves the NIHR 70d set up (valid research application to open trial and has a high level of clean data/low numbers of unresolved data queries).

We teach: We offer post-graduate degree training and secondments for training opportunities in experimental cancer medicine. We have an established in-house training programme to train our Clinical Trial Coordinators and clinical research nurses in all aspects of Good Clinical Practice and quality systems

We research: Our major research theme is "Virtual biopsy precision medicine"- the ability to conduct multi-gene analysis on circulating tumour DNA and single circulating tumour cells derived from patients. We have an open trial ("TARGET") to collect such samples pre-dose, on treatment and upon progression to identify potential markers of response and resistance.

Our Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

The Christie has a National Institute Health Research (NIHR) accredited Clinical Research Facility with a state-of-the-art Clinical Trials Unit comprising of:

  • 31 beds/treatment chairs
  • 6 inpatient beds
  • 5 outpatient suites
  • A large sample collection and storage laboratory
  • A dedicated space for sponsor monitors

The CTU has the capability to accommodate both in-patient and out-patient based trials and also trials with genetically modified and immunotherapy products.

The Unit has supported 66 Phase I and 183 Phase II clinical trials, involving 3,202 patients in experimental studies since its opening in 2010. It was ranked as a 'forefront' UK Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), recruiting 25% of all UK patients into ECMC clinical trials from the largest catchment population (3.2M people) for a cancer centre in England and Wales with over 14,000 new patients/annum.

The CTU is a shared facility for clinical research for both the ECMT as well as Phase II/III clinical trials conducted by the disease-specific research teams with the co-location facilitating patient referrals. Sponsors monitoring clinical trials have dedicated space within the CTU and each patient has a personal workbook to facilitate monitoring. There is a dedicated clinical trials administration offices located above the treatment facility.

Our Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC)

Within 30 minutes of Manchester International Airport and central Manchester rail station, MCRC is one of only 6 Academic Health Science Centres in the UK. We are accredited as a centre of excellence for Lung Cancer (by CRUK), Prostate cancer (by Movember) and Neuroendocrine tumours. We are also one of the two awarded Proton Beam Therapy Centres in the UK due to treat the first patient in 2018.

The ECMT within the Christie CTU is ideally located next to the cancer discovery and translational laboratories within the CRUK Manchester Institute (MI) which has an in-house drug discovery unit, with the capability for translating these into clinical studies through investigator initiated clinical research in partnership with the Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre (MAHSC) clinical trials unit.

On campus are other key biomarker platform capabilities required to deliver experimental cancer medicine trials including

  • The Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre, which together with colleagues from Cambridge recently attained Cancer Imaging Centre status from CRUK-EPSRC and is well equipped to deliver imaging biomarkers for application in experimental therapeutics cancer clinical studies (PET, MRI, CT, MRS);
  • Clinical and experimental pharmacology (CEP) laboratories - one of the best laboratories world-wide in cancer blood-borne biomarker discovery, validation and development- notably circulating tumour cells (CTC's), circulating tumour DNA, ELISA assays
  • an extensive and successful MCRC bio bank to support the increasing demands for molecular diagnostics and genomic profiling of cancers. The bio bank can access large numbers of high quality, annotated biological samples (tissue, circulating nucleic acids, CTC's) for prevalence characterization of putative predictive biomarkers.
  • The Christie Clinical Pathology team through established collaborations are able to develop bespoke assays to GCP if required as specific biochemical inclusion/exclusion criteria

Planned delivery of an Integrated Procedures Unit from 2016 will further augment the ability to deliver experimental cancer medicine clinical studies, with the provision of radiology guided biopsies and procedures for bone marrow aspiration and surgical biopsies (breast, skin, melanoma, sarcoma, renal, prostate, bladder, cervix, endometrium, ovarian, vulval, vaginal, colorectal, anal, and peritoneal).

Our publications

Contact us

For further information or to arrange a visit please contact:

Research Partnership Facilitator

Catherine Malone
Tel.: +44 (0)161 918 7524

Research Strategy Manager

Dr Zoe Stamataki
Tel.: +44 (0)161 918 7572


Research & Development
Block C Withington Hall
Wilmslow Road
M20 4BX
United Kingdom


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