David Dearnaley joined The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) almost 30 years ago. He is developing and assessing new radiotherapy techniques and helping to care for patients with urological cancer, including cancers of the prostate, testes and bladder. He is a Professor of Uro-Oncology and Honorary Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Professor Dearnaley has been central to the development of better radiotherapy treatments for prostate cancer, including a high-tech method called IMRT which uses 3D modelling to target radiation precisely to the tumour shape. It reduces damage to healthy tissue, which means higher doses can be given without increasing side effects.
Professor Dearnaley first began treating patients using IMRT nine years ago and the technology has since been adopted across the country. He is now running a major trial in 35 of Britain’s 58 treatment centres looking at whether more patients can be cured without an increase in side-effects by giving larger doses of radiation but in fewer treatments.
In the future, he would like to make further improvements in radiotherapy techniques for prostate cancer and get these introduced nationally, something he is hopeful of achieving.
He is running several other patient trials involving prostate and testicular cancer including systemic treatments with hormonal treatments and chemotherapy and new image guided techniques to further improve the accuracy of radiotherapy. Additional projects include studies of new molecular and genetic markers to predict the outcome following radiotherapy.