The Lungs for Living Research Centre

The Research Centre is based on the UCL/UCLH campus with 365 square meters of space. A total refurbishment of all laboratory and office space was completed in October 2015, including the addition of vital equipment such as incubators, microscopes, centrifuges and state-of-the-art imaging systems.

Researchers have the ideal environment to continue the quest to deliver cutting edge clinical, translational and basic science research into the causes and treatment of lung cancer. In particular, the Centre aims to discover the key events that lead to early stage lung cancer which will make it possible to identify new lung cancer treatments.

The Centre concentrates on discovering and treating early disease, which we believe is the only way to reduce lung cancer deaths.

Objectives of the research centre

The on-going research objectives of Lungs for Living are to:

  1. Understand the sequence of events leading to lung cancer formation to determine ways of preventing cancer from occurring
  2. Develop novel targets for drugs to treat lung cancer
  3. Deliver 'state of the art' clinical trials to test and deliver cutting edge diagnostics and therapies for lung cancer patients
  4. Learn more about regenerating lung tissue
  5. Understand if we can use stem cells to help fight lung disease

Achievements of the research group to date

  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS- a camera test to diagnose and stage lung cancer) has been adopted nationally and internationally as the staging modality of choice for lung cancer. We were one of the first centres to pioneer the technique and our study (BOOST) is the first randomised control trial using EBUS for the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer.
  • Identification of new molecules in lung cancer formation; we have identified several key molecules and pathways that are important in the earliest stages of lung cancer development, we are now starting projects to see if these can be targets for treatment.
  • Identification of novel cancer stem cell-like population. Cancer stem cells are thought to initiate and maintain tumours as well as being responsible for resistance to conventional treatments. We have demonstrated their existence in squamous cell lung cancer which may help direct future treatment strategies.
  • Cell therapies. Our preclinical research has demonstrated that stem cells can be used to home to tumours and selectively deliver that in the laboratory have been shown to effectively treat cancer.