Elderly woman surrounded by family

Ageing, end of life and cancers

This research theme includes a wide range of researchers from the biomedical, health and social sciences working on ageing, end of life care and cancers. We work in multi-disciplinary teams within, across and beyond the Faculty to help find solutions to the major global challenges of disease prevention and care for an ageing population.

Tab Content: Research areas

Particular research areas within the ageing theme include:

  • Mechanisms of normal ageing using Drosophila as a model system
  • Age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative, joint and eye diseases
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Place, health and wellbeing of ageing populations
  • Technologies for healthy ageing
  • Environmental/spatial epidemiology of cancer
  • Genome stability
  • Molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis
  • Supportive and end of life care for those with cancer

Tab Content: Research successes

Notable research successes include:

  • Development of retro-inverted peptides as inhibitors of β-amyloid aggregation for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease
  • Development of α-synuclein as a biomarker for Parkinson's disease
  • Adoption of an ethical framework for good practice in telecare implementation by Age UK
  • Major revisions made to WHO policy document "Ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances. Guidance for availability and accessibility of controlled medicines", arising from ATOME project. Document published free in 15 languages and distributed worldwide
  • Co-ordination of research and development at governmental level in 12 resource-poor countries in central and eastern Europe to remove barriers to adequate pain control
  • Cochrane Review on case management approaches to home support for people with dementia (Protocol)
  • Demonstration of an epidemiological link between paternal occupational social class and various childhood cancers
  • The publication of several papers that collectively shed new light on the mechanisms involved in maintaining genome stability
  • Our work on the biological effects of long wavelength ultraviolet (UV) radiation has informed the re-evaluation of the health risks of UV radiation and how these should be communicated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection respectively
  • Researchers in the IOELC have authored resource-stratified guidelines for policy-makers on the supportive, palliative and end-of-life care of cancer patients in Asia
  • Anne Grinyer's book Palliative & End of Life Care for Children & Young People: Home, Hospice, Hospital, published by Blackwell in 2012, won an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.
  • Nancy Preston is developing an abdominal binder for malignant ascites (PI) from a Lancaster University Impact Award

Tab Content: Cancer

This theme is addressed by all divisions within the Faculty, covering the full spectrum of cancer research from the molecular events that underpin its development to the management of care of those with life-limiting illnesses.

This interdisciplinary approach enables more comprehensive insights, so we can offer more effective interventions to improve the ageing process.

Our biomedical work improves understanding of the cellular and molecular biology of cancer.

This includes:

  • cancer models
  • cellular effects of exposure to carcinogens
  • genomic stability and DNA repair
  • cell cycle control
  • molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis

Palliative and end of life care for those with cancer

  • understanding the needs of people with cancer
  • understanding the needs of those caring for them in both formal (e.g. paid staff) and informal (e.g. family members) capacities

Care for people living with/surviving cancer

  • psychological mechanisms around survivorship
  • risk factors and behavioural decision-making

Environmental/spatial epidemiology of cancer

  • geographical impact on cancer incidence and survival

Research centres, groups and projects