Professor Maggie Manson

Professor of Cancer Chemoprevention 

Contact Details

  • Tel: 0116 223 1821
  • Fax: 0116 223 1840
  • Office: Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary, PO BOX 65, Leicester LE2 7LX


  • BSc   (Biochemistry, St Andrews University)
  • PhD   (Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh)

Research Interests

Many cancers are preventable and epidemiological studies have suggested that dietary habits could influence as many as 30% of cases. Components of our diet are blamed for inducing cancer, but equally many studies suggest that there are also protective agents, particularly in fruit and vegetables. Understanding how such agents could prevent cancer is the aim of this research.  For a normal cell to develop into a tumour requires much time and multiple changes in phenotype, which  present many opportunities to intervene to slow down or halt the process. With an increasing understanding of the signalling pathways which control cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis, and the ways in which these become deregulated in tumour cells, we can begin to understand how we might intervene to skow down or prevent cancer. We have shown that a number of dietary molecules, in particular curcumin, indoles, epigallocatechin gallate and resveratrol, cause growth arrest and apoptosis preferentially in tumour cells and that components of various signalling pathways, such as those involving mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs), phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3K), signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs), Notch and NF-kB are targetted. Signalling through some of these pathways in non-transformed cells treated with chemopreventive agents can evoke a stress response involving induction of antioxidant and drug metabolising enzymes, which protect the cell from initiating events in carcinogenesis, particularly DNA damage. Our aim is to understand in more detail the chemopreventive mode of action of dietary molecules and their primary target(s) within the cell. Since multiple activities are usually observed, it is important to extrapolate the in vitro data to more complex models and to human tissue to determine which mechanisms are physiologically relevant. We and others have also shown that dietary molecules can enhance the efficacy or reduce the toxicity of chemotherapeutic drugs.  Thus we are interested in identifying the most effective combinations.  Additionally, in the course of these studies we aim to identify useful biomarkers of efficacy, diagnosis and/ or prognosis. 


To view Professor Manson's publications, please use the link: PubMed Publication Listing.


Professor Manson will no longer be accepting requests for PhD Studentships.

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Powerful pre-clinical platform for anti-cancer drug and biomarker discovery

Pre-clinical models that can accurately predict outcomes in the clinic are much sort after in the field of cancer drug discovery and development.  Read about how patient derived explants offer many advantages and are the powerful model of choice. A copy of the review, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: PDE Platform


SEND Study Success

Congratulations to Chris Avery, who with collaborating colleagues published findings of the SEND study, a multi-centre randomised trial using two different surgical protocols for mouth cancer treatment.  A nationwide first for this type of trial, using real-world data.  The paper, published in the British Journal of Cancer, is available by clicking this link: SEND Paper


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Contact Details

Leicester Cancer Research Centre
Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building
University of Leicester
Leicester Royal Infirmary
Leicester LE2 7LX

T: +44 (0) 116 252 3170

(Please note this email address should not be used for clinical referrals or patient correspondence)

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