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Centre for Cancer, Society & Public Health

Controlling cancer through epidemiology, services, systems and global health research

Our collaborative work extends from cancer prevention and cancer epidemiology, to cancer services and systems research, to health policy and global health. Our research concerns the control of risk-factors and the prevention of cancer, the early diagnosis and detection of cancer and pre-cancer, patients’ experiences of treatment and care and inequalities in their prognosis, treatment, and survival. Our findings contribute to the development of cancer policies and the organisation of cancer services both nationally and internationally. The Centre brings together staff working on 40 research programmes that have brought in nearly £60 million in funding over the last decade.

We have six Research Groups in our Centre:

Cancer Epidemiology and Cancer Services Research; Cancer Services and Systems; Guy’s Cancer Real World Evidence Team; Lived Experiences and Patient Perspectives Group; Translational Oncology and Urology Research; and the Global Oncology Group

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Cancer Epidemiology and Cancer Services Research

The Cancer Epidemiology and Cancer Services Research Group led by Dr Elizabeth Davies studies inequalities in the early detection, diagnosis, experiences of care and outcomes for people with cancer both in England and internationally. We use literature reviews, epidemiological analyses of cancer data, patient experience surveys and qualitative interviews to inform cancer care and public health policies nationally and internationally. Current studies focus on brain, breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers.

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Cancer services and systems group

The Centre pursues mixed methods cancer services and systems studies led by Dr Ajay Aggarwal within a partnership between London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Global Oncology Group at KCL. There are four main areas of work centred in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. Building capacity in health services and clinical epidemiological research. Evaluation of technologies to support more equitable and affordable diagnosis and treatment. Development of quality assurance and improvement programmes. Translation of systems and policy evaluation tools to support national cancer control plans. A key premise for the work is to engage with international policymakers, professional bodies and NGOs through KCL’s Institute of Cancer Policy led by Professor Richard Sullivan to support knowledge translation and policy development.


Guy’s Cancer Real World Evidence (RWE) Team

The Centre has an active RWE program led by Professor Mieke Van Hemelrijck with clinical colleagues at Guy’s & St.Thomas NHS Trust. The RWE team brings together researchers, clinicians, research nurses, trial co-ordinators, database managers and students who are active across this area of translational research.

The RWE research work of the group encompasses a heterogeneous set of activities covering different types of cancer. More information and request forms for access can be found at the link below. Professor Van Hemelrijck leads Guy’s Cancer RWE together with Dr Anne Rigg from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. The programme aims to amplify Guy’s Cancer RWE data science capability and allow progress answering challenging cancer research questions.

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Lived experiences and patient perspectives group

The growing incidence of cancer that low- and middle-income countries face is raising social, cultural, political, ethical, and economic challenges of global cancer that require research beyond the traditional biomedical-clinical nexus. The Centre pursues social science studies led by Professor Carlo Caduff committed to qualitative research methods that foreground the narratives and perspectives of a wide range of stakeholders (i.e. patients, family members, medical practitioners at all levels and from many systems of medicine). Our aim is to give voice to the lived experiences, motivations and constraints of all who are touched by cancer and involved in cancer care. This approach humanises and adds richness to our understanding of cancer in heterogeneous and complex settings across the world. As part of this work stream, we have also contributed to building social science research capacity in the global south.

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Translational Oncology and Urology Research

The Translational Oncology and Urology Research (TOUR) team led by Professor Mieke Van Hemelrijck aims to turn science into better healthcare by translating uro-oncology research into medical practice. TOUR brings together a team of researchers, clinicians, research nurses, trial co-ordinators, database managers and students who are active across the field of translational research. The translational research work of the group encompasses a heterogeneous set of activities in the area of prostate, bladder, renal, and testicular cancer, covering both bedside and bench, specifically focusing on clinical and molecular immunology, bioinformatics, immunology, clinical trials and patient care and experience through the linkage with various biobanks and real- world evidence datasets.

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Global Oncology Group

The Global Oncology Group is a pan-KCL & NHS partner research collaboration led by Professor Richard Sullivan & Dr Ajay Aggarwal that studies global cancer care, research, and education to understand how these operate as complex adaptive systems and the development of complex, multi-disciplinary interventions for healthcare systems, models, and pathways of care, particularly for vulnerable populations in low resource, conflict impacted populations. We explore how society, technology, and political systems can deliver better patient outcomes with higher value for countries and regions within the context of equality and affordability in collaboration with colleagues at King’s in Global Health and Social Medicine, the Cicely Saunders Institute for Palliative Care, and the School of Security Studies. The GOG convenes the internationally renowned Institute of Cancer Policy that brings in a global faculty of research and policy dedicated to delivering more affordable, equitable and better cancer care.

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Group Leads

  • Elizabeth Davies logo

    Elizabeth Davies

    Head of Centre, Clinical Reader in Cancer & Public Health

  • Mieke Van Hemelrijck logo

    Mieke Van Hemelrijck

    Professor in Cancer Epidemiology, Director of TOUR

  • Richard Sullivan logo

    Richard Sullivan

    Professor in Cancer & Global Health, Director Institute of Cancer Policy

  • Ajay Aggarwal logo

    Ajay Aggarwal

    Honorary Senior Lecturer and Consultant Clinical Oncologist

  • Carlo Caduff logo

    Carlo Caduff

    Professor in Global Health and Social Medicine

  • Anne Rigg logo

    Anne Rigg

    Consultant medical oncologist and medical director for cancer and surgery

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Contact our Head of Centre

Dr Elizabeth Davies, Clinical Reader in Cancer and Public Health