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Creative Thinking to Cure Cancer: Targeting aggressive cancer using immune-based therapies

Unit(s) of assessment: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

Research theme: Health and Wellbeing

School: School of Science and Technology


Targeting aggressive cancer using immune-based therapies

Almost a thousand people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every day. although cancer related deaths are reducing, thousands still die due to therapy-resistant forms of the disease.

Significant improvements in the treatment and survival of patients depend on addressing the challenges posed by these aggressive cancers. NTU’s John van Geest Cancer Research Centre uses creative thinking to speed up the development, commercialisation and clinical delivery of new therapeutic approaches.

Addressing the Challenge

Addressing cancers demand braver thinking

The Centre has an integrative approach to research into cancer. With an ethos of creative thinking and the ability to generate “ground breaking” discoveries, the Centre brings innovation to the delivery of initiatives, outcomes and concepts for a new generation of therapeutics targeting aggressive disease.

Although the Centre’s direct focus is breast, prostate, brain and blood cancers, it supports affiliated programmes in pancreatic, colorectal, and head and neck cancer and its capabilities and discoveries are directly relevant to almost all cancers.


A team of more than 30 highly trained cancer research scientists is led by an executive with international standing and a lifetime experience in cancer research:

  • A. Graham Pockley (Director & Professor of Immunobiology)
  • Graham Ball (Professor of Bioinformatics)
  • Sergio Rutella (Professor of Cancer Immunotherapy)

In addition to the scientists based in the Centre, the programmes involve an extensive local, national and international network of internationally-recognised research and clinical centres.

Work is funded by philanthropic giving, charities, the European Union, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and strategic commercial collaborations and partnerships.