Facilities and Services
ECMC support service
The Leicester Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) is jointly funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The ECMC team provides support for early phase clinical trials and translational research, with expertise in pharmacy, specialist nursing, trial statistics and sample collection/processing.
The Explant Facility explores potential of patient-derived explants (PDEs) in the drug discovery pipeline via ex vivo culture of fragments of freshly resected human tumours that retain the histological features of original tumours. The facility has established multiple collaborations with external partners such as LifeArc and CRUK-Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories, to direct and inform on important go/no go decisions by providing the following services:
- Drug testing on freshly resected tumour tissue to generate cell viability data
- Biomarker expression analysis, pre- and post- drug treatment.
- Immune-cell phenotyping in PDEs to investigate drug effects on the immune system and tumour microenvironment
- Spatial analysis of multiple cell types
The facility hosts the Vectra Polaris multispectral imaging system and provides training to both students and staff for their research projects
Leicester Molecular Diagnostics (LMD)
Leicester Molecular Diagnostics was established to provide comprehensive services for molecular oncology testing. We offer sample extraction (plasma, buffy coat, frozen and FFPE tissue) and QC services, Targeted Next Generation Sequencing (tNGS) via both custom-designed and commercially available standard tNGS panels and Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR).
Leicester Cancer Research Biobank
The Leicester Cancer Research Biobank supports projects from all sections of the cancer research community within Leicester, whilst remaining open to provision of tissues to organisations outside of Leicester. Researchers from academic, charitable and commercial organisations will be able to apply for access to banked tissue samples once individual projects have been completed.
The Leicester Cancer Research Biobank has full ethical approval (Ref: 18/EM/0209) and is operated under Human Tissue Act Licence 12384.
Van Geest MS Omics Facility
The van Geest MS-OMICS laboratory is focussed on mass spectrometry based techniques that allow measurement of proteins, metabolites and lipids in both diagnostic and targeted assays. The laboratory is housed in a central facility in the Hodgkin Building and is supported by significant IT/software capacity. Funding provided by the University, BHF, Waters and Shimadzu has enabled considerable expansion of MS capability. In particular, we increased the number of triple quadrupole (TQ) instruments to allow targeted quantitation of molecules in large patient cohort studies. We have also added gas-chromatography and Ultra-Performance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2) to our liquid chromatography capability for the separation of molecules prior to MS. This will enable a greater ability to look at a wider range of molecules that are key to biology and disease.
This newly upgraded facility will allow us to carry out research in a number of diseases; Cancer, Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Diabetes, providing specific expertise in the translation of large-scale assays from bench to bedside. In addition, newly acquired expertise will enable us to explore biological MS for identification, quantification and metabolic characterisation.
For further information, please contact Prof Don JL Jones