Prof Ian Kunkler

Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Professor of Clinical Oncology

PA:; 0131 651 8606

Location: Edinburgh Breast Unit, Western General Hospital

Research Overview

Clinical and translational national and international phase III trials of adjuvant radiotherapy for early breast cancer MRC SUPREMO, PRIME I and II and DCIS boost

The Oxford overview shows that adjuvant radiotherapy plays a major role in reducing recurrence and death in early breast cancer. To date, we lack molecular markers to predict individual patient benefit from radiotherapy. Within the MRC SUPREMO trial of postmastectomy radiotherapy in intermediate risk breast cancer, we are establishing a tissue microarray to identify molecular markers of radiation response and resistance.

The incidence of breast cancer in the elderly is rising rapidly reflecting major demographic changes. However, historically, older patients were excluded from clinical trials so there is little level I evidence for the efficacy of adjuvant RT in older patients. The PRIME I trial assesses the impact of adjuvant radiotherapy on quality of life in older patients managed by breast conserving therapy and endocrine therapy. The PRIME II trial focuses on local control in a similar group of patients.

IMPACT is a 5-year, £5.2M research project, funded by an EPSRC Programme Grant, to develop new approaches to cancer treatment, using implanted, smart sensors on silicon, fabricated in the University's Scottish Microelectronics Centre. IMPACT will use miniaturised, wireless sensor chips the size of a grass seed to monitor the minute-to-minute status of an individual tumour. This will allow radiotherapy to be targeted in space and time to damage cancer cells in hypoxic tumours as much as possible. The team consists of engineers, chemists, veterinary clinicians, social scientists and human cancer specialists, led by Prof Alan Murray from the University's School of Engineering. Prof Ian Kunkler is a co-PI


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