Manchester team to be presented with prestigious international award for cancer research

Researchers based at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and The University of Manchester (UoM) supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), have been awarded an American Association for Cancer Research Award (AACR).

The ‘Team Womb’ collective, headed by Professor Emma Crosbie, Honorary Consultant in Gynaecological Oncology at MFT have been given the prestigious AACR Team Science Award for their pioneering work on Lynch-syndrome associated endometrial cancer.

The team from Saint Mary’s Hospital (pictured below), part of MFT, will receive this award at the 2024 AACR Annual Meeting on Sunday 7 April in San Diego, California. The 10 researchers are from MFT, UoM, Manchester Cancer Research Centre, and NIHR Manchester BRC.

Members of ‘Team womb’ outside Saint Mary’s Hospital

Professor Emma Crosbie, who is also Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Co-Theme Lead at NIHR Manchester BRC, said: “I am thrilled that our research means that everyone diagnosed with endometrial cancer in the UK is now offered testing for Lynch syndrome. The recognition of this work through the prestigious 2024 AACR Team Science Award is a tremendous honour and I would like to thank everyone who supported us along the way. This was a true multidisciplinary effort involving clinicians, allied healthcare professionals, researchers, patients and charities without whom none of this would have been possible.”

Manchester’s ‘Team Womb’ led a research programme that identified a link between womb cancer and Lynch syndrome, changing clinical practice across the UK.

Lynch syndrome is a genetic condition that can significantly increase the risk of developing cancer. It affects around one in 300 people, with most unaware that they have it. This condition runs in families and means anyone with the faulty gene carries a high risk of developing womb, bowel and other cancers.

Through unselected and comprehensive testing all womb cancer patients attending MFT between 2016-18, the team showed that three per cent had Lynch syndrome and defined the best strategy for identifying them.

Following this study, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) commissioned an expert advisory group to assess the evidence, and resulted in a change in guidance which recommends universal testing of all endometrial cancer patients for Lynch syndrome. This guideline means around 1,000 new people per year in the UK alone can benefit from cancer prevention strategies.

The AACR founded the prestigious Team Science award in 2006 to recognise the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams in understanding cancer and for translating research through to clinical care.

Annually, this award recognises ‘outstanding interdisciplinary research’ teams for their ‘innovative and meritorious science’ that has ‘advanced or may advance our fundamental knowledge of cancer, or has applied existing knowledge to advancing the detection, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of cancer’.

2024-25 AACR President, Dr Patricia M. LoRusso said: “I believe that this team exemplify true team science, bring together an interdisciplinary team of academics, clinicians and healthcare staff from across medicine, oncology, pathology, health economics and behavioural science. Within this nomination I highlight their exceptional and practice changing work within detection, alongside several outstanding current and future projects they have in their portfolio.”


Team Womb includes: Dr Rhona McVey, Dr James Bolton, Dr Louise Gorman, Ms Nadira Narine, Professor Emma Crosbie, Professor Katherine Payne, Dr Neil Ryan, Professor Ray McMahon,  Professor Gareth Evans and Dr Durgesh Rana.