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Dr Simon Lord


I am Director of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford and the Against Breast Cancer Senior Research Fellow at Oriel College. I undertook my medical oncology training in Leeds before moving to Oxford to take up a Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Fellowship and pursue my DPhil. In 2015 I was appointed Senior Clinical Researcher in Experimental Cancer Therapeutics in the Department of Oncology and a consultant medical oncologist at the Oxford Cancer Centre. I am a module lead for the Precision Cancer Medicine MSc at the University of Oxford and since 2021 I have been a Foundation Programme Academic Lead for the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School (OUCAGS).

Research Interests

My research focuses on the development of new drugs to treat breast cancer and I am chief and principal investigator for several clinical trials including first in human (phase 1) drug trials. I have an interest in drugs that target cancer metabolism and have led clinical studies to understand how we might repurpose the diabetes drug, metformin, for the treatment and prevention of cancer.  I also lead a number of clinical studies assessing how novel metabolic imaging signatures may reflect tumour biology. My collaborative ‘laboratory to clinic’ translational research programme uses genetic and metabolic approaches and tumour cells grown directly from patient samples to characterise the behaviour of breast cancers that arise in patients with obesity and diabetes. 

Selected Publications

Greene J, Segaran A, Lord S. Targeting OXPHOS and the electron transport chain in cancer; Molecular and therapeutic implications. Semin Cancer Biol. 2022 Feb 3; doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2022.02.002. Online ahead of print.

Clift A, Dodwell D, Lord S, Petrou S, Brady M, Collins GS, Hippisley-Cox J. The current status of risk-stratified breast screening. Br J Cancer. 2022 Mar;126(4):533-550.

Shapiro GI, Wesolowski R, Devoe C, Lord SR, Pollard J, Hendriks B, Falk M, Diaz-Padilla I, Plummer R, and Yap T. Phase I Study of the ATR Inhibitor Berzosertib in Combination with Cisplatin in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumours. Br J Cancer. 2021 Aug;125(4):520-527

Baird R, Linossi C, Middleton M, Lord S, Harris A, Rodón J, Zitt C, Fiedler U, Dawson KM, Leupin N, Stumpp MT, Harstrick A, Azaro A, Fischer S, Omlin A. First-in-human phase 1 study of MP0250, a first-in-class DARPin drug candidate targeting VEGF and HGF, in patients with advanced solid tumours. J Clin Oncol. 2021 Jan;39(2):145-154.

Lord SR, Collins JM, Cheng W, Haider S, Wigfield S, Gaude E, Fielding BA, Pinnick KE, Harjes U, Segaran A, Jha P, Hoefler G, Pollak M, Thompson A, Roy PJ, English R, Adams RF, Frezza C, Buffa FM, Karpe F, Harris AL. Transcriptomic analysis of human primary breast cancer identifies fatty acid oxidation as a target for metformin. Br J Cancer. 2020 Jan;122(2):258-265.

Aroldi F, Lord SR. Window of opportunity clinical trial designs to study cancer metabolism. Br J Cancer. 2020 Jan;122(1):45-51.

Lord S, Cheng W, Liu D, Gaude E, Haider S, Metcalf T, Patel N, Teoh EJ, Gleeson, F, Bradley K, Wigfield S, Zois C, McGowan D, Ah-See M, Thompson A, Sharma A, Bidaut L, Pollak M, Roy PG, Karpe F, James T, English R, Adams R, Campo L, Ayers L, Snell C, Roxanis I, Frezza C, Fenwick JD, Buffa FM, Harris AL. Integrated pharmacodynamic analysis identifies two metabolic adaption pathways to metformin in breast cancer. Cell Metabolism. 2018 Nov;28(5):679-688.