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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, Department of Biochemistry and Centre for Molecular Pathology
Professor of Biochemical Endocrinology,
Breakthrough Research Centre
Professor of Translational Research
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 ER+ cancer, resistance to these therapies remains a significant clinical challenge. Drs. Dowsett and Smith are using new 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 feasibility 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.


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.

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