International Women's Day is a time to celebrate the economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world. We're lucky enough to have some incredible female scientists working for Breast Cancer Now who are making amazing progress in their research into breast cancer every single day.

Tuesday 8 March 2016      Research blog
Dr Lesley Ann Martin

Dr Lesley-Ann Martin

In celebration of it being International Women’s Day today, we want to highlight the vital research being carried out by one of our Breast Cancer Now funded scientists, Dr Lesley-Ann Martin, who is based at the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.

Dr Martin is dedicated to understanding how drug resistance develops and how we can identify which patients are at risk of becoming resistant to treatment and her work focuses on hormone-receptor positive breast cancer, the most common form of the disease. This type of breast cancer can be treated with drugs such as tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors; these treatments are often initially effective, however over time some patients develop resistance and the cancer may return.

In the video below Dr Martin talks about this in greater detail, as well as the work she is doing to help overcome this.


Alongside Professor Mitch Dowsett, Dr Martin is using breast cancer samples donated by patients to study the differences between those who respond to treatment and those who become resistant. Identifying genetic ‘markers’ of resistance will mean that we can predict which patients are at risk and ensure they receive the most appropriate treatment.

By understanding the causes of drug resistance in cancer cells, scientists will also be able to develop highly specific treatments that target the root of resistance.

At Breast Cancer Now, we know that breast cancer is a complex disease and that a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment does not work. Dr Martin’s research plays a key part in our mission to ensure that targeted treatments are developed and tailored to recognise the needs of individual patients.

Learn more about the work of Dr Martin and the Endocrinology team and what they hope to achieve.