University College London

Core business

The Swanton laboratory focuses on mechanisms generating cancer genetic diversity and its consequences on clinical outcome. Our group and others, through next generation sequencing studies, have demonstrated that the principles of Darwinian evolution apply to the growth and adaptation of human tumours.

Our group has demonstrated that intratumour heterogeneity, through tumour sampling bias, impacts upon our ability to successfully qualify cancer biomarkers for clinical use. We have also found evidence for extensive parallel evolution in human tumours, with multiple spatially separated subclones acquiring distinct mutations in the same gene, protein complex or signal transduction pathway, suggesting profound constraints to tumour evolution that might be exploited for therapeutic benefit.


Nnenna Kanu

Senior Research fellow

Charles Swanton

Professor, Lecturer in Genome Instability

Panos Zalmas

Senior Research fellow