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Supporting research into head and neck cancer through Oracle Cancer Trust

Written by: Professor Chris Nutting
Published: | Updated: 16/08/2019
Edited by: Nicholas Howley

Leading consultant oncologist  Professor Chris Nutting recently spoke at a charity dinner for Oracle Cancer Trust, organised by Robert Walton MBE. We asked Professor Nutting what happened on the night and what sort of research the money raised will support:


What happened at the event?

The event was a charity dinner organised by Robert Walton MBE and his wife Donna Ida. Robert Walton is one of the most respected figures in the hospitality industry and President of the Restaurant Association. He was diagnosed and treated for tongue cancer in 2017.

During the evening he shared his very personal story and told how the support, love and friendship of others had helped him through 12 months of harrowing treatment which has left him with lifelong side-effects resulting in a partial loss of taste and dry mouth – which is very common following radiotherapy.

Guests included Oracle’s Patron and author Sir Michael Morpurgo who was successfully treated for cancer of the larynx.

I also gave an after-dinner speech and talked about the latest developments in treatment and radiotherapy.

Over £25,000 was raised with a highly successful live and silent auction which has been matched in a funding programme by The Sir Adrian Swire Pioneers Fund, set up in memory of Sir Adrian Swire bringing the total raised on the night to £50,000.

What is Oracle Cancer Trust?

Oracle Cancer Trust is the UK's leading national charity dedicated to funding head and neck cancer research. It was founded by my colleague Mr Peter Rhys-Evans , a consultant ENT surgeon based in London.

Oracle aims to fill a research gap in head and neck cancer by funding early-stage research and proof-of-concept projects. With £5 million raised already, this focus has led to incredible breakthroughs in delivering new surgical techniques, immunotherapies and drugs. The aim of our work is not only to find new ways to cure head and neck cancer but to develop treatments which ensure a better quality of life for the patient afterwards.

Read more: head and neck cancer

What research projects are being supported by this charity?

At the moment our research projects can be roughly divided into new treatments, improvements in diagnosis, and predictive tests.

Some of our new treatments include new drugs to help the immune system fight thyroid cancer, a state-of-the-art form of radiotherapy which aims to target only cancer cells using computer software, and cancer-fighting viruses in combination with drugs.

Our improved diagnostic techniques include minimally-invasive surgery to detect primary tumours in the mouth and imaging techniques to assess how well a patient will respond to immunotherapy.

Finally, we are developing biomarkers that predict where mouth cancer will spread to, and a test to determine which patients need further treatment after chemo-radiotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer.

For more information about the charity, contact the Oracle Cancer Trust on 020 3875 8991 or

Professor Nutting is a prominent consultant clinical oncologist with a special interest in head and neck cancer, thyroid cancer, and lung cancer. If you would like to book a consultation, click here .

By Professor Chris Nutting
Clinical oncology

Professor Christopher Nutting is a prominent consultant clinical oncologist in London whose areas of expertise include head and neck cancer, thyroid cancer, lung cancer and CyberKnife. He is a specialist in radiotherapy and chemotherapy with a particular interest in reducing the side effects of treatment by using highly focussed radiotherapy. 

After graduating from the University of London Professor Nutting went on to take a number of important posts and has become a highly experienced and an extremely well-respected oncologist in London. 

Besides his medical experience, Professor Nutting has impressive teaching credentials, having been appointed Professor in clinical oncology at The Institute of Cancer Research. 

Professor Nutting is keen to offer the best and most up-to-date care for his patients and is at the forefront of his field when it comes to radiotherapy techniques. He is actively involved in research and has contributed to countless peer-reviewed publications. 

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