A Medical Oncologist and Clinician Scientist, based at The Christie Hospital in Manchester, who is the UK’s lead researcher into ACC.

Dr Metcalf’s research focuses on understanding more about adenoid cystic carcinoma with a line of sight of developing new and better treatments. Through his medical oncology clinical practice, most patients he sees have ACC. He arranges tumour profiling to identify different groups of patients who may benefit from targeted drug therapies matched to their specific profile. Dr Metcalf sets up and runs clinical trials to offer new treatments for patients identified through this approach. Alongside this, he has a laboratory research program focused on ACC. His first laboratory focus is to develop a new detailed genetic and immune characterisation of ACC. This understanding will accelerate the development of both new targeted therapies and immunotherapies. His second focus is to understand the underlying biology of ACC: to determine how the disease starts, why it has such a high chance of spreading and why it is resistant to drug therapies. Dr Metcalf will then translate the new understanding from these laboratory studies to infirm the development of new clinical trials to improve survival for ACC patients.


When researching her treatment options in detail, Ella met with Dr Rob Metcalf in Manchester and was determined to support his work in any way she could.

This became possible with new funding from Syncona and now the infrastructure industry, enabling Dr Metcalf to set up two new projects, known collectively as the ‘Ella Projects’ to further the below causes.

This comprises two interrelated studies (ELLA01and ELLA02) aiming to comprehensively characterise the genomic landscape (ELLA01) and the immune landscape (ELLA02) of adenoid cystic carcinoma.

This will form a globally unique resource to better understand adenoid cystic carcinoma which is a rare and lethal disease with no effective drug therapies.

The results of these studies will enable a new method of classification of adenoid cystic carcinoma and underpin the development of new treatment approaches which are urgently needed in this disease.