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Early Cancer Institute

  • Research Group Leader, Early Cancer Institute


Charlie graduated with a first-class degree in Biochemistry from Heriot-Watt University, where he was also awarded the Watt Club Medal for exceptional distinction in the final honours year, the highest achievement possible for undergraduates. He completed his PhD in Oncology under Dr James Brenton at the University of Cambridge before moving to the CRUK Cambridge Institute to undertake postdoctoral training under Prof David Neal and Dr Ian Mills. He became a Junior Group Leader in the CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme in July 2017 where his research focuses on early disease biology and non-invasive cancer detection. He was awarded a Cancer Research UK Career Development Fellowship in 2018.


The Massie lab is developing tests to support effective cancer early detection, with a particular focus on reducing the impact of advanced prostate cancer on men’s lives, through a combination of non-invasive epi-/genomics, deep molecular profiling and gene-drug interaction studies.  Our work builds on local, national and international networks that combine prostate cancer focused Biobanking (DIAMOND), Radiology, Pathology, Oncology (within the Translational Prostate Cancer Group) and the International Cancer Genomics Consortium and PPCG networks. We focus on integrating cancer genomics, epigenetics, bioinformatics and circulating tumour DNA analysis, working together with collaborators to provide insights into disease biology and to build clinically useful tests.

Key areas of interest:

  • CRUK Cambridge Centre research programme(s): Early Detection Programme, Urological Malignancies Programme
  • Tumour type/site: Prostate and Renal (collaborating on Glioma, Oesophageal, Breast, Ovarian, Lung)
  • Methods & technologies: Genomics, epigenomics, data analysis, minimally invasive diagnostic assays.

Publications list:

Google Scholar:

Key publications: 

  1. Resolving the immune landscape of human prostate at a single-cell level in health and cancer. Tuong ZK, Loudon KW, Berry B, Richoz N, Jones J, Tan X, Nguyen Q, George A, Hori S, Field S, Lynch AG, Kania K, Coupland P, Babbage A, Grenfell R, Barrett T, Warren AY, Gnanapragasam V, Massie C, Clatworthy MR. Cell Rep. 2021;37(12):110132. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.110132


  1. ctDNA monitoring using patient-specific sequencing and integration of variant reads.  Wan JCM, Heider K, Gale D, Murphy S, Fisher E, Mouliere F, Ruiz-Valdepenas A, Santonja A, Morris J, Chandrananda D, Marshall A, Gill AB, Chan PY, Barker E, Young G, Cooper WN, Hudecova I, Marass F, Mair R, Brindle KM, Stewart GD, Abraham JE, Caldas C, Rassl DM, Rintoul RC, Alifrangis C, Middleton MR, Gallagher FA, Parkinson C, Durrani A, McDermott U, Smith CG, Massie C, Corrie PG, Rosenfeld N. Sci Transl Med. 2020;12(548):eaaz8084. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaz808


  1. Sequencing of prostate cancers identifies new cancer genes, routes of progression and drug targets. CRUK Prostate ICGC Group. Nat Genet. 2018;50(5):682-692. DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0086-z


  1. The role of TET-mediated DNA hydroxymethylation in prostate cancer.  Smeets E, Lynch AG, Prekovic S, Van den Broeck T, Moris L, Helsen C, Joniau S, Claessens F, Massie CE.  Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2018;462(Pt A):41-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.mce.2017.08.021


  1. Liquid biopsies come of age: towards implementation of circulating tumour DNA.  Wan JCM, Massie C, Garcia-Corbacho J, Mouliere F, Brenton JD, Caldas C, Pacey S, Baird R, Rosenfeld N. Nat Rev Cancer. 2017;17(4):223-238. DOI: 10.1038/nrc.2017.7


  1. The importance of DNA methylation in prostate cancer development.  Massie CE, Mills IG, Lynch AG.  JSBMB. 2017;166:1-15. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.04.009


  1. The androgen receptor induces a distinct transcriptional program in castration-resistant prostate cancer in man.  Sharma NL, Massie CE, Ramos-Montoya A, Zecchini V, Scott HE, Lamb AD, MacArthur S, Stark R, Warren AY, Mills IG, Neal DE.  Cancer Cell. 2013;23(1):35-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2012.11.010


  1. The androgen receptor fuels prostate cancer by regulating central metabolism and biosynthesis.  Massie CE, Lynch A, Ramos-Montoya A, Boren J, Stark R, Fazli L, Warren A, Scott H, Madhu B, Sharma N, Bon H, Zecchini V, Smith DM, Denicola GM, Mathews N, Osborne M, Hadfield J, Macarthur S, Adryan B, Lyons SK, Brindle KM, Griffiths J, Gleave ME, Rennie PS, Neal DE, Mills IG.  EMBO J. 2011;30(13):2719-33. DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2011.158
Teaching and supervisions

Research supervision: 

  • Clinical Research Training Fellows
  • PhD Students
  • Masters Students
  • Visiting Students
Other professional activities
  • Lecturer on Masters in Genomic Medicine course, University of Cambridge (2016-present
  • Health and Safety Committee Chair, The Hutchison Building (2018-present)
  • Equality and Diversity Champion, Department of Oncology
  • CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme Training Director (2019-2022)