Professional background

I graduated in medicine from the University of Birmingham in 2004 before undertaking training posts in Birmingham, Nottingham, Norwich, and London.

I became a consultant haematologist at University College London Hospitals in 2017. I specialise in lymphoma and lead a programme of early phase clinical trials in lymphoproliferative disorders.

I am an active member of the national low grade and high grade lymphoma NCRN sub groups and am national chief investigator for a number of ongoing early phase clinical trials in the field of lymphoma. I have co-authored national guidelines on the management of follicular lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma as well as several book chapters on the management of lymphoma.

Research interests

My particular research interests are clinical trials in lymphoma, the lymphoma microenvironment and outcomes of patients with haematological malignancies on ICU.


Treatment of classical Hodgkin lymphoma in young adults aged 18-30 years with a modified paediatric Hodgkin lymphoma protocol. Results of a multicentre phase II clinical trial (CRUK/08/012). Townsend W, Leong S, Hoskin P, Diez P, Patrick P, Linch D, Wong WL, Kayani I, Sanghera B, Lopes A, Daw S, Collins G, Clifton-Hadley L, Ardeshna K. Br J Haematol. 2020 Apr;189(1):128-132.

Phase I Study of TAK-659, an Investigational, Dual SYK/FLT3 Inhibitor, in Patients with B-Cell Lymphoma. Gordon LI, Kaplan JB, Popat R, Burris HA 3rd, Ferrari S, Madan S, Patel MR, Gritti G, El-Sharkawi D, Chau I, Radford JA, Pérez de Oteyza J, Zinzani PL, Iyer S, Townsend W, Karmali R, Miao H, Proscurshim I, Wang S, Wu Y, Stumpo K, Shou Y, Carpio C, Bosch F. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Jul 15;26(14):3546-3556.

The investigation and management of follicular lymphoma. McNamara C, Montoto S, Eyre TA, Ardeshna K, Burton C, Illidge T, Linton K, Rule S, Townsend W, Wong WL, McKay P. Br J Haematol. 2020 Jun 24. doi: 10.1111/bjh.16872.

The architecture of neoplastic follicles in follicular lymphoma; analysis of the relationship between the tumor and follicular helper T-cells. Townsend W, Pasikowska M, Yallop D, Phillips E, Patten P, Salisbury J, Marcus R, Pepper A, Devereux S. Haematologica. 2020 Jun;105(6):1593-1603.

The role of obinutuzumab in the management of follicular lymphoma. O’Nions J. Townsend W. 2019. Future Oncology. 15(31):3565-3578. doi: 10.2217/fon-2019-0193. Epub 2019 Sep 20.

Positron Emission Tomography Score Has Greater Prognostic Significance Than Pretreatment Risk Stratification in Early-Stage Hodgkin Lymphoma in the UK RAPID Study. Barrington SF, Phillips EH, Counsell N, Hancock B, Pettengell R, Johnson P, Townsend W, Culligan D, Popova B, Clifton-Hadley L, McMillan A, Hoskin P, O'Doherty MJ, Illidge T, Radford J. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jul 10;37(20):1732-1741. doi: 10.1200/JCO.18.01799. Epub 2019 May 21

Clinical outcomes and survival of patients with myeloma and lymphoma enrolled into phase I clinical trials. El-Sharkawi D, Ng CH, Payne EM, Yong KL, Ardeshna KM, Khwaja A, Townsend W, Popat R. Br J Haematol. 2019 Apr;185(2):344-347. doi: 10.1111/bjh.15457. Epub 2018 Jul 5. PMID: 29978458

Obinutuzumab for the First-Line Treatment of Follicular Lymphoma. Robert Marcus, Andrew Davies, John F. Seymour, William Townsend, Wolfgang Hiddermann et al. N Engl J Med 2017; 377:1331-1344

A Phase II Clinical Trial of Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide Followed by Thalidomide for Angioimmunoblastic T-cell Lymphoma. An NCRI Clinical Trial. CRUK number C17050/A5320. W Townsend, R Johnson, B Pottinger, N Counsell, P Smith, C Rudin. Leukaemia and Lymphoma. 57; 2016.

Low Grade Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. W Townsend and R Marcus. Chapter in Postgraduate Haematology, Seventh Edition (editors A. V. Hoffbrand, D. R. Higgs, D. M. Keeling and A. B. Mehta) John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. (2015)

De Novo Treatment of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma With Rituximab, Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine, Gemcitabine, and Prednisolone in Patients With Cardiac Comorbidity: A United Kingdom National Cancer Research Institute Trial. Fields PA, Townsend W, Webb A, Counsell N, Pocock C, Smith P, Jack A, El-Mehidi N, Johnson PW, Radford J, Linch DC, Cunnningham D. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Nov 12.

Improved intensive care unit survival for critically ill allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients following reduced intensity conditioning. W Townsend, A Holroyd, A. Goldstone, D Linch, K Thomson, E Morris. British Journal of Haematology. 2013, 161(4) 578-86.

Seminar in Hodgkin Lymphoma in Adults. W Townsend and D Linch. Lancet 2012. 380(9844): 836-847

Clinical evidence for a graft-versus-tumour effect following allogeneic HSCT for t(8;13) atypical myeloproliferative disorder. W Townsend, NCP Cross, K Waghorn, K Somana, A Ramsay, K Thomson and K Peggs. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2009 Aug;44(3):197-9