Mitch Dowsett, PhD, BSc
2012-2013 BCRF Project:
(made possible by generous support from The Estée Lauder Companies Brands)
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
Co-Investigator: Ian E. Smith, MD, FRCP, FRCPE
, The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom
Drs. Smith and Dowsett previously demonstrated in a retrospective study that there are significant differences in the expression of estrogen-regulated
genes during the menstrual cycle, which could affect the interpretation of molecular profiling tests in premenopausal women and has the potential to be
used as a test of endocrine responsiveness. To extend this observation, this team is conducting a prospective study to collect paired tumor tissue and
blood samples in the same patient at different points of the menstrual cycle. They are also in collaboration with North American colleagues to analyze
samples from a study in Vietnam. When complete, these two sets of prospectively collected samples will enable the researchers to verify if the possibility
of using the changes in gene expression through the menstrual cycle is supported scientifically and is feasible within clinical practice.
Mid-year Progress: Drs. Dowsett and Smith have already demonstrated in a retrospective study that there are significant differences in the expression of four estrogen-regulated genes (ERG) during the menstrual cycle. This could affect the interpretation of molecular profiling tests in premenopausal women and have the potential to be used as a test of endocrine responsiveness.
Drs. Dowsett and Smith have now selected a larger set of ERGs, based on knowledge from their group's in vivo and in vitro studies, to investigate in the same retrospective samples. Gene expression assays on these genes will be performed using the nCounter Analysis System (Nanostring) which provides a highly sensitive and reproducible method for detecting gene expression in archival material. In order to validate the above work prospectively, these researchers are collecting paired tumor tissue and blood samples in the same premenopausal patients at different points of the menstrual cycle. This study has been extended to five other UK centers. Drs. Dowsett and Smith are also collaborating with North American and Vietnamese colleagues to determine whether change in ERGs through the menstrual cycle is predictive of response to neo-adjuvant endocrine therapy. When complete, these two sets of prospectively collected samples will enable the researchers to verify if the possibility of using the changes in gene expression through the menstrual cycle is supported scientifically and is feasible within routine clinical practice.
Professor Mitchell Dowsett is Professor of Biochemical Endocrinology, Head of the Academic Department of Biochemistry and Head of Breast Cancer Translational Research at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research.
His research interests are predominantly in endocrine aspects of breast cancer and in biomarker evaluation and application. He has a laboratory research team of approximately 25, all of whom are focused on translational aspects of breast cancer research.
Professor Dowsett is the founding chairman of the UK National Cancer Research Institute Translational Clinical Study Group, which aims to enhance Translational Research across the countries clinical trial portfolio in cancer. He is a member of the Steering and Executive Committees of several prominent international breast cancer trials including ATAC and HERA for which he is chairman of the translational research committees. Membership of a number of peer-review committees includes the Scientific Committees of Cancer Research Ireland and the Danish Cancer Society.
He is the author of over 430 professional papers.