TRACERx (Tracking Cancer Evolution through Therapy)

TRACERx  – has been launched by Cancer Research UK and will recruit 850 lung cancer patients from across the UK and take samples of their tumour before and following surgery and subsequently if the disease recurs.Biopsies will be taken from different parts of each patient's tumour and analysed with the latest technology to give a more comprehensive genetic profile. Different parts of a tumour can evolve independently, so a sample from one region alone might contain different genetic changes to another sample, elsewhere in the tumour. Patients will also have blood tests to examine DNA from the cancer that might be circulating in the bloodstream.


Researchers will then be able to compare genetic changes within and between patients, record how the treatment changes the genetic profile of their disease, and how this ultimately affects the patients' chances of survival.

The combination of these techniques will give an unprecedented insight into lung cancer and allow researchers to identify and understand the precise genetic makeup of lung cancers. The results will also lay the foundations for being able to offer patients treatment that is tailored to the specific genetic makeup of their cancer.


University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be leading the thoracic surgery for the research.

Professor Charles Swanton, lead researcher at the UCL Cancer Institute, said: "Success in treating lung cancer has been difficult to achieve but we're hoping to change that. The first step to improving cancer diagnosis and treatment is to understand more about the disease and how it changes over time.

"Research has led us to this point when, after decades of earlier work, we can look to the future with real optimism. We plan to harness new sequencing technologies to trace the genetic evolution of cancer over the course of the disease. Our research will help explain why lung cancer is difficult to treat, and steer a path towards saving more lives."


Professor Sam Janes, Lung Cancer Pathway Director at London Cancer said: "This is a huge commitment to lung cancer research from Cancer Research UK and it's great that Professor Charlie Swanton at UCL will be running this with London Cancer at the lead. Patients undergoing surgery at University College Hospital will have their cancer checked for mutated genes before and after any accompanying chemotherapy. Through this work we hope to be able to understand why some patients respond to chemotherapy and why some don't."


Other research centres taking part in the study are: Velindre Cancer Centre Cardiff, Birmingham University Hospital, Leicester Hospital, Cancer Research UK’s Paterson Institute for Cancer Research at The University of Manchester, The Christie Hospital in Manchester and University Hospital South Manchester and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

TRACERx - The Patient View

About two years ago, about two months before Terrence’s diagnosis, we announced plans for a pioneering study to transform how lung cancer – the world’s biggest cancer killer – is understood. Click here to read Terrence's story.

Read the last news on this innovative study
TRACERx Patient Newsletter Summer 2015.p[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [609.7 KB]
TRACERx summary for patients v1.0 22-12-[...]
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Tracking Genomic Cancer Evolution for Precision Medicine: The Lung TRACERx Study, PLoS Biol. 2014 Jul 8;12(7)
Authors include ICPV members Tom Haswell, Mairead MacKenzie and Maggie Wilcox
Adobe Acrobat document [700.8 KB]


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Save the planet and donate to ICPV - send ecards go tour Fundraising page for mor information.

VOICE 2020 - Science for Patient Advocates - cancelled

Due to COVID-10 we have had to postpone the course for 2020. Click here for more information.

FAST-Forward Trial Results

A one-week course of radiotherapy in fewer but larger daily doses was found to be as safe and effective as standard three-week therapy for women following surgery for early stage breast cancer. Trial results now published. Two ICPV members provided the PPI for this key trial. Full details can be found on the ICR Website.

ICPV Brighton Summer School Aug 2019

ICPV was once again hosted by SHORE-C at the University of Sussex. Click here for more info.

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, 2018

ICPV member Pat Fairbrother attended this event on an Alamo Foundation Scholarship. Click here to read her review.

Gap Analysis in Breast Surgery Published

The 2013 Breast Cancer Campaign gap analysis established breast cancer research priorities without a specific focus on surgical research or the role of surgeons on breast cancer research. This Review aims to identify opportunities and priorities for research in breast surgery to complement the 2013 gap analysis. Click here for more information

ICPV Review 2018
We have at last published a new edition of our review. This was achieved by a grant from Novartis. Click here for more information. 

Award for ICPV Member

Many congratulations to ICPV member Margaret Grayson. On 21 April 2018 she received the Iris Colvin Lifetime Achievement Award for Health, presented by the Women’s Forum of Northern Ireland. This is very well deserved for her tireless work in furthering cancer research especially in Northern Ireland.

Warwick Clinical Trials Course
12 members of ICPV attended a residential Clinical Trials Course at the University of Warwick from 17th to 19th April 2018. The course was run by Professor Janet Dunn and covered the different types of studies undertaken; consent; trial design; statistics and bringing a drug to market. One of the highlights of the course was a visit to the West Midlands Surgical Training Centre where delegates had the privilege of seeing real body parts and having basic anatomy explained to them by the team. The delegates would like to thank Professor Janet Dunn for her outstanding enthusiasm and for her generous hospitality.

Open letter calling on Government to prioritise interests of cancer patients in Brexit negotiations

ICPV have come together with 18 other cancer charities to put our names to an open letter to Government. We want Government to prioritise seeking continued alignment with the EU drug licensing process and Clinical Trials Regulation after Brexit. It is hoped this letter will be published in the national press in the near future.
See below to read.

Open Letter to Government
ACMC EMA letter_FINAL v2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [363.5 KB]

2017 Summer School

The 2017 ICPV Summer School was held over two days in June at Stirling University. The theme of the event was Cancer Survivorship and Living Well Cancer. Click below for details of the course. More details.

VOICE 2016

A snapsot video of the the 2016 course is now available on YouTube VOICE2016

eCancer Videos

At the BACR/ECMC conference in July Maggie Wilcox and Mairead Mackenzie were persuaded to speak to the camera. Maggie gave a background to ICPV and our aims and objectives. While Mairead focused on her specific interests and activities. To view follow the links below.

Maggie Wilcox

Mairead MacKenzie

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