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Research overview

Professor John Yarnold, Clinical Academic Radiotherapy Team

Radiotherapy machine at The Royal Marsden

Our major research focus is investigation of the role of fraction size in adjuvant radiotherapy in breast cancer. National trials led by our team in collaboration with the ICR’s Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit involve more than half the UK's radiotherapy centres and have established schedules using fewer, larger radiotherapy fractions as the standard of care in the UK and, increasingly, overseas. Our current trials include an evaluation of a five-fraction schedule of whole-breast radiotherapy delivered in five days.

The team’s translational laboratory research includes investigation of the molecular basis of sensitivity to fraction size, which varies between tissues and is modulated by DNA repair processes. The aim of our work is to identify biomarkers that predict tumour response to fraction size, allowing stratification of patients into more individualised treatment regimens.

Other research interests include:

  • the modulation of chronic adverse effects of radiotherapy using hyperbaric oxygen in the context of a randomised sham controlled trial in patients with complications of pelvic radiotherapy
  • clinical testing of hydrogen peroxide as a radiation sensitiser in breast cancer patients.

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