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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Estée Lauder Companies Brands Award in Honor of Elizabeth Hurley

Area(s) of Focus

Ian E. Smith, MD, FRCP, FRCPE

Professor of Cancer Medicine,
The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research
Head of the Breast Unit, The Royal Marsden Hospital
London, United Kingdom

Current Research

Estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer makes up more than two-thirds of all breast cancer cases, particularly those that occur after menopause. While a variety of successful anti-estrogen drugs are available to treat ER+ cancer, resistance to these therapies remains a significant clinical challenge. Drs. Dowsett and Smith are using a new clinical trial platform called POETIC-2 to identify potential combinations of anti-estrogen drugs and other drugs that target anticipated resistance mechanisms in individual patients. In the coming year they will conduct a feasiblity study to test the platform in order to identify any major impediments so that a full trial can be initiated as soon as possible. These studies will improve our knowledge of the characteristics of an individual’s tumor and offer the potential for individualized therapy and new drug development.


Ian E. Smith, MD, FRCP, FRCPE, is Professor of Cancer Medicine at The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom. He is also Head of the Breast Unit at The Royal Marsden Hospital.

His initial medical training was in Edinburgh and he came to the Royal Marsden, London, for specialist training in cancer medicine. He spent some time in Boston at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard. His principal clinical research interests have been in breast cancer, lung cancer, and in new drug development. He was involved in the early clinical development of several anticancer drugs that have subsequently proved effective in the clinic, including carboplatin and letrozole.  In the last decade he has become increasingly involved in neoadjuvant therapies as a research approach towards individualizing treatment for breast cancer. He is currently Chief Investigator or UK Principal Investigator for several international multicenter breast cancer trials involving in particular targeted therapies and aromatase inhibitors. He publishes and lectures extensively. He was awarded the Susan G Komen for the Cure Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction at the 2009 San Antonio International Breast Cancer Conference.

Professor Smith is Co –Chairman of the ASCO Clinical Guidelines Group  for Chemotherapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer, and has just been appointed the first Chair of the newly formed UK Breast Cancer Clinical Reference Group. He is a patron of Breast Cancer Care, the largest UK breast charity for patient support.

Latest from Ian E. Smith


FMedSci, PhD