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Dr James Nicholson

Consultant paediatric oncologist

I work as a consultant within the department of paediatric oncology and haematology, specialising in the treatment of children with solid tumours. I am also an affiliated associate professor in the department of paediatrics at the University of Cambridge and co-lead of the paediatric programme within the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre.
James Nicholson - he has short brunette hair and glasses, he wears a light blue shirt.

Pick your battles

My current role

I have been a consultant paediatric oncologist in Cambridge since 2000. We provide care for children with leukaemia and solid tumours from throughout the Eastern region, sharing some of the care with regional hospitals.

My main research interest, developed during my time in Cambridge, has been in the field of germ cell tumours (GCTs) at all sites in children and young adults. I have collaborated with both European and US colleagues in clinical research initiatives and trial development.

I was international co-chair of the most recent European collaborative trial, SIOP CNS GCT II, and chaired the GCT subcommittee of the European Paediatric Brain tumour Group from 2010 to 2014. I was also co-investigator of the last UK trial for treatment of paediatric extracranial GCTs and chaired the UK germ cell group between 2010 and 2015.

I was a founder member, and am now vice-chair, of the Malignant Germ Cell International Consortium (MaGIC) (opens in a new tab).

I helped set up the Cambridge GCT biological studies programme in 2003, with a focus on non-invasive diagnostics using microRNAs. My research has led to over 90 peer-reviewed publications.

I have played in active part in service development, regionally and nationally. From 2014 to 2020, I chaired the multi-disciplinary professional body for all those working in the field of children’s cancer in the UK and Ireland, the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG).

I have also held leadership roles in NICE guideline development, NCEPOD, and chaired a national service review of paediatric oncology services for NHS England between 2017 and 2019.

Previous history

I trained in medicine at Cambridge University (Corpus Christi College) and St Mary’s Hospital Medical School (Imperial College), London.

My postgraduate clinical training in paediatrics and oncology was undertaken in Nottingham, Melbourne (Australia), Southampton and Royal Marsden Hospital.

I undertook a research project in the Wessex Institute of Human Genetics (University of Southampton) on genomic changes in paediatric solid tumours, which led to the award of a Doctor of Medicine higher degree in 1998.

Membership and accreditations

  • Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
  • Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG)
  • International Society of Paediatric oncology (SIOP)
  • European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE)

Personal interests

When I am not at work, I particularly enjoy running, attempting to tame my garden, music and amateur dramatics.

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