Professor John Yarnold studied medicine at Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London, and graduated in 1972.
After several years of postgraduate training in general medicine, radiotherapy and oncology, he was appointed Senior Lecturer at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Honorary Consultant at The Royal Marsden in 1980, where he has remained.
His clinical practice and research interests have concentrated on the role of radiotherapy in breast cancer. Along the way, he also devised and led protocols for randomised trials testing single-dose radiotherapy for the palliation of skeletal pain (1982, 1986, 1992), conformal radiotherapy in pelvic cancers (MRC1, 1987), adjuvant systemic therapies for breast cancer (1993), antioxidants in patients with chronic radiotherapy aderseadverse effects (2000) and hyperbaric oxygen in patients with chronic radiotherapy adverse effects (1997, 2005, 2008).
Altogether, he has been chief investigator of 17 randomised clinical trials with more than 20,000 patients involved as research participants.
The overall aim of his research is to improve the evidence underpinning current and future radiotherapy practices in cancer patients. International standards of care established by these trials include single-dose radiotherapy for patients with painful skeletal metastases; accelerated schedules of curative radiotherapy for women with early breast cancer; and, most recently, partial breast radiotherapy in women treated by breast conservation surgery for early breast cancer.