Cancer research

Hull has one of the highest incidences of and mortality rates from cancer in the country. At Hull York Medical School and in partnership with the University of Hull, we foster and promote translational research to tackle this area.

We have a proven track record in cancer research, and the opening of the Allam Building on the University of Hull campus and the development of a CT/PET/cyclotron scanner on Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Castle Hill Hospital Castle Hill Hospital site in 2017, has enabled us to expand and further develop our world-class research.

The biomedical research centre was made possible by a £1.5m donation from Dr Assem Allam. The Allam Building, which is situated on the University of Hull campus, houses two research centres focusing on cardiovascular diseases and cancer. A further donation by the Daisy Appeal has helped with the purchase of two mini cyclotrons, proton-accelerating machines for use in medical applications. 

The Queen's Centre at Castle Hill Hospital provides a large resource for clinical research and has been awarded a Level 5 Macmillan Quality Environment Mark - the highest mark available.


We regularly collaborate with colleagues within the University of Hull including: the Department of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research, the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre.


Professor Michael Lind is the academic lead for cancer research within the Centre.

Please see our people in the Clinical Sciences Centre for members of the cancer research theme.

Research highlights
Preclinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) research project 
Preclinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) research project

Funded by: Daisy Appeal, Dr Assem Allam and the University of Hull 

The aim of this project is to produce radioisotopes using a cyclotron which can be incorporated into targeting molecules and, using a PET/CT scanner, be used for early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer and dementia.

Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre for early phase clinical trials 
Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre for early phase clinical trials 

Funded by: Yorkshire Cancer Research

This project proposes the development of a Yorkshire-centred early clinical trials network, addressing scientifically-driven research questions of relevance to the Yorkshire population.

The focus is on proof of concept and feasibility studies covering specific research areas of strength including radiotherapy/drug combinations, biological therapies and novel therapeutic targets in order to accelerate through-flow of new cancer treatments from bench to bedside.

The project will also provide support and mentorship to early-career clinicians to develop the clinical research leaders of the future. 

Peripheral blood detection of EGFR status in lung cancer patients 
Peripheral blood detection of EGFR status in lung cancer patients

Funded by: Yorkshire Cancer Research (£98,000) and EU Lungcard (€1.1m)

PI / Co-I: Professor John Greenman, Professor Steve Haswell

Lung cancer is the single biggest killer from malignant disease in Yorkshire, with nearly 6,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Approximately 10 per cent of patients have a mutation in a protein on the surface of their lung cancer cells called the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Knowledge of this mutation in individual patients is important as these patients respond to a class of drugs called receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors rather than conventional chemotherapy with fewer side effects.

However, to ascertain whether a patient has a mutation, a biopsy is required. Biopsies of lung tumours may be hazardous and can cause haemorrhage or lung collapse, and only 70 per cent of patients with lung cancer get a biopsy for these reasons.

This study has developed a method of obtaining EGFR status from a peripheral blood sample which should make the treatment available to more lung cancer patients.


Jankovic R, J Goncalves H, Cavic M, Clemente C, Lind M, Murillo Carrasco A, Nadifi S, Khyatti M, Adebambo T, Egamberdiev D. LungCARD - Report on worldwide research and clinical practices related to lung cancer. J BUON. 2019 Jan-Feb;24(1):11-19. PMID: 30941946. 


Funded by: Yorkshire Cancer Research (£4.9m)

PI / Co-I: Professor Michael Lind, Professor Miriam Johnson

Cancer is by and large a disease of the elderly. The elderly cancer patient is often discriminated against and is undertreated. This research project looks at using commonly used geriatric assessment tools in assessing elderly cancer patients and fitness for cancer treatment.


McKenzie GAG, Bullock AF, Greenley SL, Lind MJ, Johnson MJ, Pearson M. Implementation of geriatric assessment in oncology settings: A systematic realist review. J Geriatr Oncol 2020. DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2020.07.003. 

Gomes F, Lewis A, Morris R, et al. The care of older cancer patients in the United Kingdom. Ecancermedicalscience 2020;14:1101. DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2020.1101. 

Jackson G, Gabe R, Johnson M, et al. CAMERA - complete assessment of elderly patients with cancer: A non-randomised feasibility study. J Geriatr Oncol 2019;10(1):175-177. DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2018.07.005 

Caged Theranostics as a Universal Platform for Nuclear Medicine
Caged Theranostics as a Universal Platform for Nuclear Medicine

Funded by: EPSRC (£640,000)

PI: Professor Steve Archibald

Co-I: Dr Azeem Saleem

Collaborators: University of Edinburgh, King's College London