Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre

Marie Fallon

Edinburgh Palliative and Supportive Care Group (EPAS)

M.Fallon - PI Profile
Professor Marie Fallon - St Columba’s Hospice Chair of Palliative Medicine

Research in a Nutshell 

Professor Fallon is a founding member of the University of Edinburgh’s Translational Research in Pain Programme, with particular interest in cancer-induced neuropathic and bone pain. She serves as Chief Investigator on a large portfolio of clinical studies, including three investigator-led randomized controlled trials examining improved management of cancer-induced bone pain, neuropathic pain, institutionalisation of pain assessment. In addition, she leads investigator-led studies into the role of systemic inflammation, and opioid-induced hyperalgesia. She has led recruitment of over 3000 patients with advanced cancer into randomized controlled trials over the last few years. She is the Lead in an international programme of RCTs in cannabinoids in cancer-related pain. She has led the development of a programme of pain studies using fMRI in Edinburgh. There is a close collaboration with the cancer-related cachexia programme led by Professor Kenneth Fearon and she is a co-PI in cachexia studies run in Edinburgh and internationally. She also leads a large programme of work looking at chemotherapy –induced peripheral neuropathy.


Research Programme



Marie Fallon Principal Investigator, St Columba’s Hospice Chair of Palliative Medicine and Honorary Consultant in Palliative Care
Barry Laird Clinician Scientist
Joanna Bowden Research Fellow
Ooi Thye Chong Lecturer in Integrative Medicine
Sabrina Ramnarine Research Fellow
Debra Gordon Research Nurse
Kim Sladdin Research Nurse
Lucy Norris Trial Manager
Harriet Harris PA and Clinical Trials Co-ordinator
Tonje Sande Research Fellow

Peter Foley

PhD Student
Marta Seretny PhD Student
David Jeffrey PhD Student
Claribel Simmons PhD Student





  • EAPC
  • Professor Charles Loprinzi, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Professor Peter Hoskin, University of London
  • Professor Irene Tracey, University of Oxford FMRIB
  • Professor Ken Fearon, University of Edinburgh 
  • Dr Lesley Colvin, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Sue Fleetwood-Walker and Dr Rory Mitchell, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Scott Murray, Professor Scott Murray
  • Erna Haraldsdottir, St Columba’s Hospice
  • Dr Ruth Isherwood, Strathcarron Hospice
  • Dr Sara Booth, Cambridge University Hospitals
  • Paul Nelson 

Partners and Funders

  •  Fearon K, Fallon M, Fayers P, et al. Marie Curie/Rising Tide Foundation A randomised, open-label trial of multimodal intervention (exercise, nutrition and anti-inflammatory medication) plus standard care versus standard care alone, to prevent/attenuate cachexia in patients with advanced cancer undergoing chemotherapy (MENAC study) £700,000 2015 (24 months)
  • Fleetwood-Walker S, Mitchell R, Fallon M, et al. Merck Investigation of analgesia with EGRF inhibitors £400,000 2015
  • Fallon M, Harvey K, Graham C, Bowden J, McWilliams K. Marie Curie/CRUK Double-blind randomised parallel group trial of paracetamol versus placebo in conjunction with strong opioids for cancer related pain (Study Ref A18862)  £384,554.32 2015 (36 months)
  • Fallon M, Parsons R, Clarke A, Colvin L, Laird B, Brunelli C, Hoskin P, Klepstad P. Marie Curie/CRUK An exploratory study to develop and evaluate a simple bedside tool for community use to identify who is most likely to benefit from palliative radiotherapy for cancer induced bone pain. (Study Ref A19005) £135,833.50  2015 (24 months)
  • Torsney C, Mccormick B, Colvin L, Galley HF, Fallon M. BJA/RCoA Optimising translational capacity of melatonin administration for chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain  Study Ref WKR0-2014-0051) £65,000 March 2015 (15 months)

Scientific Themes

Palliative, Supportive, Cancer, Pain – cancer, complex, neuropathic, bone, treatment-related, Symptom control, Analgesia, Opioids

Technology Expertise

Quantitative sensory testing (QST), GaitRite, Vivascope, TENS