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BCRF Grantee Since


Donor Recognition

The Estée Lauder Companies Brands Award in Honor of Elizabeth Hurley

Area(s) of Focus

Mitch Dowsett, FMedSci, PhD

Head of the Academic Department of Biochemistry
Professor of Biochemical Endocrinology
Professor of Translational Research
Breakthrough Research Centre
The Royal Marsden Hospital
Institute of Cancer Research
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 post-menopausal breast cancer, there are fewer treatment options for younger women with ER+ breast cancer. Drs. Dowsett and Smith are using new technologies to find better treatments for ER+ breast cancer in younger women in the UK, the US and Vietnam. In the course of this work, they have found changes in specific genes that occur at different times during the menstrual cycle of breast cancer patients. They believe that this information can be used to predict the benefit that individual patients may expect from subsequent anti-estrogen therapy.In a separate study, the investigators will identify biomarkers that predict resistance to anti-hormone therapy in postmenopausal women newly diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. The study is designed to improve our knowledge of the characteristics of an individual’s tumor and offers the potential for individualized therapy and new drug development.


Professor Mitch Dowsett, FMedSci, PhD, is Head of the Academic Department of Biochemistry and Head of the Centre for Molecular Pathology at the Royal Marsden Hospital; Professor of Biochemical Endocrinology at the Institute of Cancer Research; and Professor of Translational Research in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Centre, London.

Professor Dowsett’s research focuses almost exclusively on breast cancer and predominantly on hormonal aspects of the disease and biomarkers of response with a research team of about 24 investigators. He was closely involved with the clinical development of aromatase inhibitors and in the creation of national and international standards for steroid receptor and HER2 analyses (ASCO/CAP Guidelines Steering Committees). He co-chairs the International Working Party for Ki67 in Breast Cancer. He was the founding chairman of the UK NCRI Translational Research (subsequently Biomarker and Imaging) Clinical Study Group. In 2004 he founded and continues to chair the Aromatase Inhibitor Overview Group.

He has authored nearly 600 published papers related to breast cancer, and given numerous named lectures including the 2007 William L McGuire Memorial Lecture. He recently rotated off the Executive Board of the Breast International Group (BIG) after seven years, and sits on the Executive/Steering Committees of several clinical trials. He has been a NCRI Senior Clinical Investigator since 2009. In 2013 he was appointed as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Latest from Mitch Dowsett