Research Studies

Here you will find the latest updates on the ongoing research being carried out at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre which the CTRT has helped to support.

You can also view publications, presentations and full research reports.

Blood Vessels


For tumours to grow larger than a few millimetres in size, it is necessary for them to develop their own blood supply. There are two fundamentally different approaches to targeting blood vessels that supply tumours. The approach that is most developed is aimed at preventing new tumour blood vessels from growing and is called anti-angiogenesis. Several drugs such as bevacizumab and sunitanib and pazopanib are already licensed for use in different tumours. The other approach uses drugs, called vascular disruptive agents, to selectively damage the blood vessels already supplying cancers so that the blood flow to the cancer can be stopped and the cancers rapidly die.

Ovarian Cancer Research

Progress: The Cancer Treatment and Research Trust enabled Mount Vernon Cancer Centre over the past 20 years to enter a larger proportion of patients with ovarian cancer into clinical trials than all but a few centres in Europe. Generous donations have funded a dedicated group of research nurses and data managers who work closely with Professor Gordon Rustin, Dr Marcia Hall, and the junior doctors to look after the patients and collect all the important data so new treatments can be introduced and closely analysed.

Melanoma Research


 CTRT support has enabled us to run a comprehensive program of clinical trials for patients with melanoma. This allows access to the most modern treatments for our patients.

Historically, advanced melanoma has been very difficult to treat and conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy have only had a modest impact upon the disease and only for a minority of patients. However major advances have been made in the last 2-3 years based upon an improved understanding of both the molecular changes that drive the cancer cells to grow and the immune system. New drugs have been developed that have resulted in markedly improved outcomes for patients with advanced melanoma and at Mount Vernon we have been making a major contribution to these developments.

The Melanoma Unit has expanded, two consultant oncologists, Dr. Paul Nathan and Dr.Carie Corner lead the service. CTRT provides support to two specialist research nurses, two study co-ordinators and a research fellow.

As a result, the trials portfolio is internationally competitive and we are fortunate to be able to offer access to novel agents for many of our patients. At a time when there are real advances in development for patients with melanoma, it is important that we are an internationally leading centre to enable access to the most attractive new therapies.

Testicular Cancer Research

Testicular Cancer

The value of research is particularly well demonstrated by the great progress made in curing testicular cancer. 30 years ago, less that 10% of patients survived once their cancer had spread. Now over 90% are cured. Over half of all patients are found to have stage 1 disease with no evidence of spread from the testicle. The majority of these stage 1 patients are managed by close surveillance and most of these patients avoid the need for chemotherapy or radiotherapy. However about a fifth of all patients on surveillance will relapse, but are then cured by chemotherapy. Thanks to a database managed by funding from the CTRT we can reassure patients with the following data: Professor Rustin has managed over 1600 patients with stage 1 testicular cancer and only 4 patients have died from that cancer, including two who had refused to attend follow-up appointments.