Prof David Buckley

Professor David Buckley

Project details

Researcher: Professor David Buckley

Location: University of Leeds

Project title: Predicting who will benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy using MRI

Key area: Treatment

The challenge

People with breast cancer are sometimes given chemotherapy before surgery to reduce the size of the tumour, which is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. It can take many doses of chemotherapy to cause a noticeable change in tumour size and, in some cases, the tumour does not shrink at all, meaning that patients experience the side effects of chemotherapy with little benefit. Therefore, we need new ways to find out at an earlier stage whether a breast tumour is responding to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Project description

Professor Buckley and colleagues have developed a method to tell whether a tumour is responding to chemotherapy, using a conventional hospital scan called magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure blood flow to the tumour.

Breast Cancer Now is funding a clinical trial, led by Professor Buckley, which will use this new technique to see whether changes to a tumour’s blood flow can be detected after just one dose of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The trial will recruit 40 women receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer who will have MRI scans before, during, and after the course of chemotherapy. Tumour tissue will also be analysed before chemotherapy and once it is removed by surgery to see how successful the neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been at treating the tumour.

What difference will this project make?

Professor Buckley’s research will help to find better ways to monitor the effectiveness of chemotherapy before surgery. This will help to ensure that in the future, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is directed to people most likely to benefit, and ensure those who won’t benefit receive treatments more appropriate for them.

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