Author: Prof. Cliona Kirwan - April 30, 2020

Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

A paper published in the Lancet yesterday, co-written by Prof. Cliona Kirwan, the chair of our Scientific Advisory Board, has reported the results of a large clinical trial. Over 4000 patients, recruited from 97 UK hospitals, participated in the FASTForward trial. Radiotherapy is given to the majority of women who undergo surgery for early breast cancer. Currently it is given in 15 doses -every day, Monday to Friday, for 3 weeks. This means 15 visits in a row to the hospital. FASTForward shows that it is safe and effective to give breast radiotherapy in only 5 (slightly larger) doses.

So, what does this mean?

It means quicker treatment, less disruption to the lives of patients, and less visits to the hospital.

In the current Covid-19 situation, where NHS capacity is reduced, and every hospital visit puts patients and staff at risk, this new study is hugely important and already changing clinical practice.

You may have also heard/ read about this research in the press, click here to read the article in the Metro.




Prof. Cliona Kirwan

Cliona is a Consultant Breast Surgeon at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and a Senior Clinical Research Scientist with a particular interest in how breast cancer can affect blood clotting mechanisms and how this phenomenon might lead to new blood tests for cancer or even new treatments. Cliona is also the Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and a member of our Medical Advisory Board (MAB).

Click here to read more about Cliona’s current research.