Duncombe, Dr Andrew Stephen

Dr Andrew DuncombeBA (Oxon), MB BS (Lond), MA (Oxon), DM (Oxon), FRCP (UK), FRCPath (UK)




Chronic haematological malignancy, clinical trials and epidemiology

Training and education

Dr Duncombe achieved first class honours at Oxford University and then studied clinical medicine at St Thomas’. Following general medical training in Oxford and London, he obtained a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship at the Royal Free Hospital. This led to a doctoral thesis at Oxford University and a young investigator award from the British Society for Haematology. Dr Duncombe completed his training in haematology through rotations at St Thomas’, St George’s and the Royal Marsden Hospital before taking up his current post at University Hospital Southampton in 1994. 


Dr Duncombe has worked for the Trust since May 1994. 

He has over fifteen years' experience in haemato-oncology, transplantation and general haematology at consultant level. 

Key achievements

  • As lead consultant in clinical haematology from 1995 to 2001, Dr Duncombe helped establish the leukaemia and transplant unit (ward C6) at University Hospital Southampton. The service has since developed into the fifth largest bone marrow transplant centre in the UK, with outcomes that are significantly higher than the national average.  
  • Dr Duncombe has been involved in extensive research into myeloproliferative disorders (disorders of the blood cells). As a core member of the National Cancer Research Institute's myeloproliferative disorders subgroup, he has co-authored national guidelines for the management and treatment of the conditions myelofibrosis and eosinophilia. He's a principal investigator in studies investigating the treatment of myeloproliferative disorders with medications called JAK inhibitors. Together with Professor Nick Cross of the University of Southampton, he's been involved in research with patients with myelofibrosis. This research has led to the discovery of gene mutations that help to explain why some people are predisposed to acquiring genetic mutations that lead to blood cancers.

  • Dr Duncombe is also involved in developing and supporting new studies of the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. He is principal investigator on a number of clinical trials researching new treatments including signal pathway inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies, treatments that don't involve chemotherapy. To keep patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and myeloproliferative disorders up to date with the latest research and clinical trials, Dr Duncombe organises southern regional meetings of the national patient associations for these conditions.

Awards and prizes

  • First class honours in physiological sciences from Oxford University, 1978
  • University scholarship to St Thomas' Hospital, 1978
  • Martin Wronker prize in pharmacology, Oxford, 1978
  • British Society For Haematology Young Investigator Of The Year, 1988/1989
  • Wellcome Trust research fellowship, 1987 to 1990
  • National Clinical Excellence Award holder, 2015-present


Dr Duncombe is committed to advancing patient outcomes through promotion of and involvement in research, both clinical trials and laboratory studies. He's currently principal investigator for more than ten National Cancer Research Institute studies and co-investigator in many others. He also recruits patients for these studies.

Dr Duncombe is the author of more than 100 original articles and published abstracts including first author publications in the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, British Medical Journal, BLOOD, Journal of Immunology and the British Journal of  Haematology. He co-authored the first edition of the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Haematology, and contributed entries on this topic to the British Medical Association Family Health Encyclopedia, which went on to become an international bestseller.  

Teaching and training

Dr Duncombe teaches on a wide variety of postgraduate courses including preparation for the MRCP and MRCPath exams and on GP CPD programmes as well as to national patient organisations. Here at University Hospital Southampton, he's a clinical supervisor for specialist trainees in haematology and an undergraduate examiner for the medical school. While on sabbatical in 2016, he was a visiting guest lecturer at the University of Western Australia, Perth, University of New South Wales, Sydney, University of Otago, NZ and University of Auckland, NZ. 


  • Byrd JC, Brown JR, O'Brien S, Barrientos JC, Kay NE, Reddy NM, Coutre S, Tam CS, Mulligan SP, Jaeger U, Devereux S, Barr PM, Furman RR, Kipps TJ, Cymbalista F, Pocock C, Thornton P, Caligaris-Cappio F, Robak T, Delgado J, Schuster SJ, Montillo M, Schuh A, de Vos S, Gill D, Bloor A, Dearden C, Moreno C, Jones JJ, Chu AD, Fardis M, McGreivy J, Clow F, James DF, Hillmen P; RESONATE Investigators incl. Duncombe A S. Ibrutinib versus ofatumumab in previously treated chronic lymphoid leukemia, N Engl J Med. 2014 Jul 17;371(3):213-23.

  • Guglielmelli P, Lasho TL,  Rotunno G,  Score J,  Mannarelli C, Pancrazzi A,  Biamonte F,  Pardanani A Zoi K,  Reiter A, Duncombe A ,  Fanelli T,  Pietra D,   Rumi E,  Finke C,  Gangat C,  Ketterling RP, Knudson RA,  Hanson CA, Bosi A,  Pereira A,  Manfredini R,  Cervantes F,  Barosi G,  Cazzola M,  Cross NCP,  Vannucchi AM,  Tefferi A. The number of prognostically detrimental mutations and prognosis in primary myelofibrosis: an international study of 797 patients, Leukemia. 2014 Sep;28(9):1804-10. 

  • Titmarsh GJ, Duncombe AS, McMullin MF, O’Rorke M, Mesa R, De Vocht F,  Horan S,  Fritschi L,  Clarke M,  Anderson LA. How common are myeloproliferative neoplasms?  A systematic review and meta-analysis, Am J Hematol. 2014 Jun;89(6):581-7.

  • Paterson A, Mockridge CI, Adams JE, Krysov S, Potter KN, Duncombe AS, Cook SJ, Stevenson FK, Packham G. Mechanisms and clinical significance of BIM phosphorylation in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Blood. 2012 Feb 16;119(7):1726-36.
  • Guglielmelli P, Biamonte F, Score J, Hidalgo-Curtis C, Cervantes F, Maffioli M, Fanelli T, Ernst T, Winkelman N, Jones AV, Zoi K, Reiter A, Duncombe A, Villani L, Bosi A, Barosi G, Cross NC, Vannucchi AM. EZH2 mutational status predicts poor survival in myelofibrosis. Blood. 2011 Nov 10;118(19):5227-34.
  • Ernst T, Chase AJ, Score J, Hidalgo-Curtis CE, Bryant C, Jones AV, Waghorn K, Zoi K, Ross FM, Reiter A, Hochhaus A, Drexler HG, Duncombe A, Cervantes F, Oscier D, Boultwood J, Grand FH, Cross NC. Inactivating mutations of the histone methyltransferase gene EZH2 in myeloid disorders. Nature Genetics. 2010 Aug;42(8):722-6.
  • Provan A B, Chisholm D M, Duncombe A S, Singer C, Smith A G. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Haematology, Oxford University Press, 1998 [ISBN 0 19 262903 4].
  • Duncombe A S, Blood and marrow stem cell transplantation. Chapter 12 of ABC of Clinical Haematology 2nd edition, BMJ Books, London, 2003 [ISBN 0 7279 16769].
  • Duncombe A S, Haematological entries in The British Medical Association Complete Family Health Encyclopedia, Dorling Kindersley Publications, London, 1990.
  • Duncombe A S, Expert on BBC RADIO 4 CASENOTES in 1999 (peripheral blood stem cell transplantation) and 2001 (the lymphatic system).

Personal life

Outside of work, Dr Duncombe enjoys spending time with his family, walking in the New Forest and singing in an acapella group. He likes playing tennis and watching rugby, football, hockey and cricket.


You can contact Dr Duncombe by calling 023 8120 5516 .