Mr Piers Gaunt MSc

Mr Piers Gaunt

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Principal Biostatistician

Contact details

Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU)
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
University of Birmingham
Vincent Drive
Birmingham, B15 2TT

Piers Gaunt is a Principal Biostatistician within the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU) in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences (ICGS). His research focus is on improving the efficiency of clinical trials.


  • MSc in Medical Statistics, University of Leicester, 2010
  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry, University of Nottingham, 2001


Piers Gaunt worked as a scientist and project manager in the pharmaceutical industry prior to returning to academia in 2009 to undertake a Masters in Medical Statistics. Thereafter he joined the CRCTU within the Biostatistics team working in clinical trials in various cancer types and across all phases. He is responsible for the design, supervision, analysis and reporting of several trials within the CRCTU in both adult and paediatric cancer populations, including soft tissue sarcoma, lung, skin and head and neck.

Piers has a keen interest in improving the efficiency of clinical trials across a broad spectrum of areas. Examples of this are (i) in the implementation of efficient clinical trials methodology such as adaptive trial design, (ii) improving the analysis and reporting of clinical trials by writing software programs and driving improvements to aid report generation to facilitate faster interim analyses, and (iii) driving operational efficiency locally within the CRCTU but also nationally via development of guidelines and supporting the UKCRC Registered Clinical Trials Unit Statistical Operational Group. He also is focussed on several local projects to drive process improvement within the CRCTU.

Piers is fully committed to working to improve patient outcomes with an emphasis on survival and quality of life through efficient clinical trials with appropriate statistical methodology.


Piers is a co-module lead for the 20-credit Design and Delivery of Further Clinical Trials module within the MSc in Clinical Trials and provides statistical support for students in their dissertations. This module teaches students a large number of contemporary clinical trial topics including; adaptive trial design, non-inferiority trials, trials in surgery, amongst others. 

He also contributes to lectures and assists with small group teaching for the MSc Clinical Trials, MSc in Clinical OncologyMBChB Medicine and SurgeryBMedSc Medical Science, and provides training for internal staff within the CRCTU.

Other activities

Piers was the vice-chair of the local organising committee for the International Society of Clinical Biostatistics conference that was held in Birmingham in August 2016. 

He is also a member of several external Data Monitoring Committees and Trials Steering Committees for clinical trials run by other UK clinical trials units.

Piers is a member of the Independent Scientific Advisory Panel for both the Bone Cancer Research Trust and the Research Advisory Group for Myeloma UK.


Recent publications


Mehanna, H, Gaunt, P, Kong, A, Hartley, A, Sanghera, P, Forster, M, Sen, M, Paleri, V, Fong, C, Geropantas, D, Srinivasan, D, Garikipati, S, Moleron, R, Casswell, G, Aynsley, E, Ward, A, O'Toole, L, Mirza, A, Firth, C, Humphreys, I, Fulton-Lieuw, T & Nankivell, P 2024, 'CompARE: study protocol for a phase III randomised controlled platform trial comparing alternative regimens for escalating treatment of intermediate and high-risk oropharyngeal cancer', Trials, vol. 25, 50.

Patel, A, Brock, K, Slade, D, Gaunt, C, Kong, A, Mehanna, H, Billingham, L & Gaunt, P 2024, 'Implementing the time-to-event continual reassessment method in the presence of partial orders in a phase I head and neck cancer trial', BMC Medical Research Methodology, vol. 24, no. 1, 11.

PETNECK2 Research Team, Nankivell, P, Gaunt, P, Gaunt, C, Sissons, J, Liaskou, E, Jefferson, Y, Fulton-Lieuw, T, Mittal, S & Mehanna, H 2024, 'PET-CT-guided, symptom-based, patient-initiated surveillance versus clinical follow-up in head neck cancer patients (PETNECK2): study protocol for a multicentre feasibility study and non-inferiority, randomised, phase III trial', BMC Cancer, vol. 24, no. 1, 823.

Woll, PJ, Gaunt, P, Gaskell, C, Young, R, Benson, C, Judson, IR, Seddon, BM, Marples, M, Ali, N, Strauss, SJ, Lee, A, Kaur, B, Billingham, L & David, H 2023, 'Axitinib in patients with advanced/metastatic soft tissue sarcoma (Axi-STS): an open-label, multicentre, phase II trial in four histological strata', British Journal of Cancer, vol. 129, no. 9, pp. 1490-1499.

Forker, LJ, Bibby, B, Yang, L, Lane, B, Irlam, J, Mistry, H, Khan, M, Valentine, H, Wylie, J, Shenjere, P, Leahy, M, Gaunt, P, Billingham, L, Seddon, BM, Grimer, R, Robinson, M, Choudhury, A & West, C 2023, 'Technical development and validation of a clinically applicable microenvironment classifier as a biomarker of tumour hypoxia for soft tissue sarcoma', British Journal of Cancer.

Homer, V, Yap, C, Bond, S, Holmes, J, Stocken, D, Walker, K, Robinson, EJ, Wheeler, G, Brown, S, Hinsley, S, Schipper, M, Weir, CJ, Rantell, K, Prior, T, Yu, L-M, Kirkpatrick, J, Bedding, A, Gamble, C & Gaunt, P 2022, 'Early phase clinical trials extension to guidelines for the content of statistical analysis plans', BMJ, vol. 376, e068177.

Woll, P, Gaunt, P, Danson, S, Steele, N, Ahmed, S, Mulatero, C, Shah, R, Bhosle, J, Hodgkinson, E, Watkins, B & Billingham, L 2022, 'Olaparib as maintenance treatment in patients with chemosensitive small cell lung cancer (STOMP): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II trial', Lung Cancer, vol. 171, pp. 26-33.

Hasan, Z-U, Ahmed, I, Matin, RN, Homer, V, Lear, JT, Ismail, F, Whitmarsh, T, Green, AC, Thomson, J, Milligan, A, Hogan, S, Van-de-Velde, V, Mitchell-Worsford, L, Kentley, J, Bowden, S, Gaunt, P, Wheatley, K, Proby, CM & Harwood, CA 2022, 'Topical treatment of actinic keratoses in organ transplant recipients: a feasibility study for SPOT (Squamous cell carcinoma Prevention in Organ transplant recipients using Topical treatments)', British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 187, no. 3, pp. 324-337.

Meade, S, Gaunt, P, Hartley, A, Robinson, M, Cashmore, J, Wagstaff, L, Babrah, J, Bowden, SJ, Mehanna, H & Sanghera, P 2018, 'Feasibility of Dose-escalated Hypofractionated Chemoradiation in Human Papilloma Virus-negative or Smoking-associated Oropharyngeal Cancer', Clinical Oncology.

Forker, L, Gaunt, P, Sioletic, S, Shenjere, P, Potter, R, Roberts, D, Irlam, J, Valentine, H, Hughes, A, Billingham, L, Grimer, R, Seddon, B, Choudhury, A, Robinson, M, West, CML & David, H 2018, 'The hypoxia marker CAIX is prognostic in the UK phase III VorteX-Biobank cohort: an important resource for translational research in soft tissue sarcoma', British Journal of Cancer, vol. 118, no. 5, pp. 698-704.

Ferry, D, Billingham, L, Jarrett, H, Dunlop, D, Woll, PJ, Nicolson, M, Shah, R, Thompson, J, Spicer, J, Muthukumar, D, Skailes, G, Leonard, P, Chetiyawardana, AD, Wells, P, Lewanski, C, Crosse, B, Hill, M, Gaunt, P & O'Byrne, K 2017, 'Carboplatin versus two doses of cisplatin in combination with gemcitabine in the treatment of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: results from a British Thoracic Oncology Group randomised phase III trial', European Journal of Cancer, vol. 83, pp. 302-312.


PETNECK2 Research Team, Nankivell, P, Gaunt, P, Gaunt, C, Sissons, J, Liaskou, E, Jefferson, Y, Fulton-Lieuw, T, Mittal, S & Mehanna, H 2024, 'Correction: PET-CT-guided, symptom-based, patient-initiated surveillance versus clinical follow-up in head neck cancer patients (PETNECK2): study protocol for a multicentre feasibility study and non-inferiority, randomised, phase III trial', BMC Cancer, vol. 24, no. 1, 861.


Wheatley, K, Wilson, JS, Gaunt, P & Marsden, JR 2017, 'Reply to response to Wheatley et al., “Surgical excision margins in primary cutaneous melanoma: A meta-analysis and Bayesian probability evaluation” Cancer Treatment Reviews April 2016;45:76', Cancer Treatment Reviews, vol. 55, pp. 225-229.

Armstrong, MJ, Gaunt, P & Newsome, PN 2016, 'Identifying patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis that are nonresponders to therapy', Hepatology.

Newsome, PN, Armstrong, MJ & Gaunt, P 2016, 'Liraglutide for patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis - Authors' reply', The Lancet, vol. 387, no. 10036, pp. 2379.

View all publications in research portal