Professor Peter Farmer

Professor of Cancer Biomarkers

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


  • B.A. (Hons), (Chemistry), Oxford.
  • D.Phil., (Chemistry), Oxford.
  • M.A., Oxford. 

Research Interests

Environmental and life-style factors (including diet) are known to play a major role in the causation of cancer and other chronic diseases. Although tobacco smoking is responsible for about 30% of lethal cancers, it has been estimated that 30-50% of cancer deaths in non-smokers might be avoided by changes in life-style. The carcinogens to which we are exposed are normally in the form of complex mixtures (e.g. pollution or dietary sources), and much effort has gone into determining the nature of the most significant carcinogenic components in these mixtures and their mechanisms of action. Such knowledge would enable the development of preventive measures, leading to a reduction in cancer risks for humans. Essential to achieving this aim is the use of biomarkers in the exposed human population. These can be used not only to characterise the chemical nature of the carcinogens involved, but also to identify key biological effects that result from the exposure, and the effectiveness of preventive measures such as chemoprevention. Our objective is to develop biomarkers of exposure, effect and susceptibility to carcinogens, and to apply them to studies in humans, with the overall objective of reducing human exposure to carcinogens, and consequent risk. A complementary approach to cancer prevention in normal populations is through intervention with chemopreventive agents, which delay or prevent cancer progression, and a secondary objective of ours is to use our biomarkers to assess the efficacy of such procedures and guide future clinical trials.


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

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All the staff and students in the LCRC extend their congratulations to Bethan Rogoyski and Sam Khan for being awarded travel bursaries from UKEMS and Health Education England respectively so they could attend the Cancer Prevention Conference in Germany.

Bethan presented her poster entitled “From Asbestos to Zinc – Can We Prevent Mesothlioma Using Repurposed Drugs?”

Sam presented her work on TBS2017-122-SK - "Targeting Nanog in colorectal tissue explant models for the evaluation of cancer prevention agents"


Congratulations from the LCRC to the following postgraduate students

Dr Panayoti Bachkangi  12th March (PhD)

Dr Sami Mamand  8th Mar (PhD)

Dr Amal Bengreed 2nd Feb (PhD)

Dr Tim Rattay  23rd Jan (PhD)

Dr Callum Rakhitt   19th Jan (PhD)

Dr John Isherwood  18th Jan (MD)

Dr Hanaa Al-Mahmoodi  12th Jan (PhD)


Tumour analysis following surgery could provide breakthrough in predicting how well cancer patients respond to drug treatment

Details here


New: Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund



Centre Health and Wellbeing Group
Join up for a walk on the park Friday lunchtime - details here.

More information from Jenny McNair

Contact Details

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

T: +44 (0) 116 252 3170

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