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CUP_2015_Logo_RGB    Speakers



Dr F. Anthony Greco MD is Co-Founder of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute located in Nashville, USA. Dr. Greco’s principal professional interest has been clinical cancer research and he now specialises in cancers of unknown primary origin, lung cancer and germ cell tumors. He has helped to define the complex group of patients with unknown primary cancer recognizing many subsets of patients requiring specific therapy. He has developed, or helped develop, new and improved therapies for patients with several types of neoplastic diseases, including unknown primary cancer.

Sub chairs


Dr Harpreet S. Wasan MBBS FRCP is Consultant and Reader in Medical Oncology, Department of Cancer Medicine, Imperial College NHS Trust. He is Chief Investigator for the UK’s  clinical  ‘CUP-ONE’ trial, which finished recruiting 620 patients in Dec  2014.  Dr Wasan is current HPB research lead for the LCA and has been involved with trial development within The CLRN and  The UK National Cancer Research Institute Committees for both advanced colorectal cancer and upper gastrointestinal groups. In the past he was the  inaugural  Chair of the West London Cancer Network CRC group, and oncology advisor to the UK Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin.



Dr Richard Griffiths MB ChB PhD MRCP is a Consultant in Medical Oncology at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre located on the Wirral peninsula. He specializes in the management of renal, lung and unknown primary cancers. He also runs the Acute Oncology and CUP service at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. He set up the regional CUP MDT which he also chairs and is the Network lead for CUP services. His other role at Clatterbridge is that of Chief Medical Information Officer and he is passionate about utilizing information technology to transform the delivery of healthcare.


Speakers and expert panellists



Dr Roderick Benson BSc (Hons I) PhD is the Chief Operating Officer of Imagen Biotech. He completed his PhD at the University of Manchester, examining several cytological conditions that occur when cells commit to apoptosis. In 2001, he obtained an 18 month Wellcome Showcase award for Innovative research where he explored the use of intrabodies tagged to fluorescent proteins to create an in-cyto immunoassay. In 2003, he started working for AstraZeneca where he was employed in the Systems Biology group. He left AZ in October 2007 to set up Imagen Biotech with his colleague Gareth Griffiths.  Imagen Biotech is a company that specialises in applying the science of High Content Screening to the personalization of Chemotherapy using phenotypic cell death assays. Rod has worked on creating a completely automated dosing and analysis workflow for the company which ensures that data on 56 different chemotherapies can be delivered to clinical management teams one week after the sample is received in their testing facility.



Professor Mark Caulfield FRCP, FMedSci, is Chief Scientist of Genomics England – the company established by the Department of Health to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project. Mark graduated in Medicine in 1984 from the London Hospital Medical College and trained in Clinical Pharmacology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts).He was appointed Director of the William Harvey Research Institute in 2002 and was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008, winning the Lily Prize of the British Pharmacology Society in 2009.  Since 2008 he has directed the Barts National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit.


Karen - photo

Karen Lomas BSc (hons). CUP patient: ‘In January 2013, I visited my GP with a swelling of my right supraclavicular lymph nodes.  Following a mammogram, biopsy of lymph nodes, CT scan, MRI scan, PET scan and biopsy of thyroid I was told that the cancer in my lymph nodes was secondary cancer and that the primary cancer could not be identified.  I started six rounds of ECX chemotherapy (Epirubicin, Cosplatin, Capecitabine) followed by 15 sessions of radiotherapy. I was well for the next two years.  In June 2015, I started to feel increasingly breathless and lethargic and was admitted to hospital with suspected dehydration and persistent vomiting.  Following a CT scan and echocardiogram, I underwent a cardiac tamponade and one litre of liquid was drained.  Tests of this liquid showed that cancerous cells were present but, again, no indication of the primary site of the cancer has been found.  I am currently receiving more ECX chemotherapy.’



Katy Low Diploma HE Adult Nursing, is the CUP (Macmillan) Clinical Nurse Specialist at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she has been instrumental in setting-up the CUP service. She has been in post developing the CUP CNS role and service from the onset for 18 months. Prior to this, she was an experienced senior sister on the Medical Oncology ward. Katy prides herself as being one of the first CUP CNS’s in post for the South east of England that has been adopted by Macmillan Cancer Support. Since its inception in 2013, Katy has become a core member of the CUP MDT, helping to drive, develop and define hospital guidelines and operational policies across the locality alongside the NICE guidance for CUP, using the patient experience as the main driver for change. The CUP service along with the palliative care service at BTUH, received commendation for cancer team of the year in the Quality in Care Oncology awards 2014. As the services continues to mature, expand and gather momentum, Katy is keen to share her experiences about setting up the service, acting as an exemplar to others, whilst enriching the experiences of patients and families alike.


piers mahon

Dr Piers Mahon researched Membrane Protein Proteomics & Biotechnology for his PhD at Cambridge University on a Dupont/Dalgety/Newton Trust scholarship. From 2001-2014 he was a Management Consultant with Bain & Company, in their London and Boston healthcare practice, focusing on drug launches and R&D performance improvement. Piers is now an independent consultant and social entrepreneur, focused on precision medicine and real world data in cancer. He is an expert advisor to the UK Precision Medicine Catapult, and Director, Global Alliances with Cancer Commons, a US not-for-profit looking to unlock routine care data on cancer for precision medicine research.




Dr Louise Mason MBBS MSc FRCP is Macmillan Consultant in Palliative Medicine at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. She joined the team in 2010 providing a new palliative care service for patients with complex, serious and life threatening illnesses. She is a member of the lung cancer service, acute oncology service and Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) multi-disciplinary team. Her research interests include innovating to improve transitions from the acute setting to community for patients near the end of their lives, and end stage liver disease. She is passionate about the early integration of palliative care into the treatment of patients with malignant disease.



Dr Sarah Ngan  BMedSci MBBS PhD MRCP is a consultant in Medical Oncology working at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital (GSTT) in London.  She specialises in caring for patients with upper gastro-intestinal cancers along with Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) and acute oncology. She is the clinical lead for acute oncology and CUP at GSTT along with network CUP lead for the London Cancer Alliance. She chairs a specialist MDM at GSTT for patients with CUP which is video linked to units across SE London and is passionate about improving the patient pathway for CUP patients.



Dr Karin Oien is Clinical Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Pathology, the Institute of Cancer Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow. Karin’s research focuses on the identification, validation, functional characterisation and clinical application of cancer biomarkers. Her research uses technologies from genomics and bioinformatics through to molecular pathology and immunohistochemistry. Metastatic cancers of unknown primary are of particular interest to her.



Dr Richard J. Osborne MD FRCP is a Consultant in Medical Oncology at the Dorset Cancer Centre where he combines a clinical service with therapeutic research in the areas of colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma and Cancer of Unknown Primary. He was the Lead Clinician driving the development of the NICE Guideline for CUP. During his career Dr Osborne has been awarded an ICRF Clinical Research Fellowship, NCI-EORTC Research Fellowship and a Fulbright Senior Scholarship. He is Principal Investigator in National and International studies in ovarian cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer.



Professor Nicholas Pavlidis MD PhD FRCP Edin (Hon) is Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Ioannina in Greece. He graduated from the University of Athens in 1974. He was  fellow at NIH, Bethesda, USA (1977-1980) and at the Royal Marsden Hospital London (1982-1983). He was active member and secretary of the Early Clinical Trials Group of EORTC (1992-2000), active member of ESMO Education Steering Committee (1996-cont), Chairman of ESMO Guidelines Group (2006-2010), Co-chairman of the same Group (2011-cont), Chairman of the ESMO-ASCO Global Curriculum (2011-cont) and Programme Committee Member and Chairman in various activities of the European School of Oncology (1990-cont). He is Editor-in Chief of the Cancer Treatment Reviews. His research interest is focused in Cancer Education, CUP, Cancer and Pregnancy and Phase I-II studies. He has published more than 330 articles.


Penny pic

Professor Penelope Schofield BSc (Hons) PhD MAPS is the Director of the Department of Cancer Experiences Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia.  A behavioural scientist, her research focus is to assess and improve the quality of life of patients undergoing and completing cancer treatment.  She is the lead investigator for the Australian national collaborative cohort study, ‘SUPER’ which is designed to describe the clinical heterogeneity of patients assigned the broad label of CUP, establishing the frequency of genetic mutations in tumours and defining quality of life and psychosocial issues unique to these patients.



John Symons is Director of the Cancer of Unknown Primary Foundation. He served as a member of NICE’s CUP Guideline Development Group (2008-2010) and the NCAT Peer Review Measures Expert Group for CUP (2011-12). He  represents the patient voice on the Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network Group for CUP, and the HB sub group of the NCRI UGI Clinical Studies Group. Formerly an associate professor of Henley Business School, John has a PhD in management development, Masters’ degrees in Arts, Education and Science, and  is a Sloan Fellow of the London Business School.


Claire Vajdic_photo_Aug2010

Associate Professor Claire Vajdic PhD is Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Claire is a cancer epidemiologist leading a multi-disciplinary project to better understand the epidemiology of CUP. This project uses linkage of routinely collected health records to examine the health service use prior to and after CUP diagnosis, risk factors and outcomes. She is also working with cancer registries and other agencies to better understand registration practices and the true burden of CUP.