Supporting the

Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

Christodoulos Pipinikas – NCUK research grant awardee 2016

Mar 10, 2021

Using an integrated approach combining data generated through the use of different, advanced molecular tools, we have previously demonstrated that neuroendocrine tumours of the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract are highly epigenetically dysregulated and have identified several altered biological pathways and genes that may form the basis for the development of novel therapeutic targets. In addition, our group has identified specific molecular disease subtypes associated with a significant impact on patients’ survival, indicating that these may benefit from different treatments. 

Using a similar approach, we would like to extend our understanding of the key molecular events involved in the development and progression of bronchopulmonary (lung) neuroendocrine neoplasms (BP-NENs). 

BP-NENs represent a significant disease burden with socioeconomic extensions due to their increased incidence and decreased 5-year survival rates. 

BP-NENs comprise approximately 20-25% of all lung cancers and represent a spectrum of tumours arising from neuroendocrine cells of the bronchopulmonary epithelium.

Tumour classification into the correct histological sub-group is strongly predictive of patients’ prognosis but relies on few, difficult to reproduce pathological parameters which are often affected by a high inter-observer variability. 

Therefore, the aim of this project was to identify novel and accurate molecular tools in order to improve the classification of these tumours. This, in turn, will provide better prognostic information and help with choosing more appropriate treatments. 

In addition, the aim was to study the underlying pathogenic mechanisms involved in disease development and progression through the use of large-scale integrated omics analyses.

Christodoulas Pipinikas is a Senior Research Associate – UCL Cancer Institute with 10+ years experience in translational cancer research utilising integrated molecular approaches combining genomic, epigenomic and transriptomic profiling for accurate patient prognostication and treatment stratification

Following on from the NCUK grant he was awarded the European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society (ENETS) 2018 CoE Excellence Academy Fellowship to take his research further.

He is a member of the UK 100,000 Genomes Project Neuroendocrine Tumour Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership (GeCIP), UKINETs & ENETs.

  • Diagnostic Approaches to Neuroendocrine Neoplasms of Unknown Primary Site Neuroendocrinology (2020)
  • Epigenetic landscape of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours reveals distinct cells of origin and means of tumour progression Communications biology (2020)
  • Deciphering the genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic landscapes of pre-invasive lung cancer lesions Nature medicine (2019)


Healthcare Science Week is an annual week-long programme designed to promote the amazing work of healthcare science professionals and highlight the difference they make to patients lives. This year, it takes place between 5 and 14 March.

Science and technology is vital in modern healthcare and can change lives for the better.

Research is one aspect where science and technology comes together not only to expand our knowledge but also explore new ways of delivering healthcare – whether through improved understanding of ‘the patient experience’ to new advances in knowledge to the development of innovative medicines and technologies.

To celebrate Healthcare Science Week we would like to share with you how your donations have made a number of complex and groundbreaking pilot research projects possible.

(Find out more about our Research Grants and the work your donations help us support here).