Skip to main content

Inaugurals 2010

Christopher Poole

Date: 18 May 2010

Location: Medical Teaching Centre

Time: 6pm until 7pm, followed by a drinks reception

RSVP: Register here

See: Staff profile page

Cancer of the Breast is a Systemic disease: discuss

One of the triumphs of modern medicine has been the development of adjuvant therapy for women with early breast cancer deemed at risk of recurrence, and the demonstrable eradication of occult micro-metastases, that would otherwise dictate their doom, in a proportion.

I will review, from a personal perspective, the successful development of this approach over the last forty years, through a process of enlightened empiricism and endeavour to provide a state of the art essay in where we’re at and where we are going in Warwick, paused for the moment at ‘paradigm shift cross roads’, to bastardise Thomas Kuhn.

The scene I will set at this reality checkpoint, marks the ground between the old traditional one-size-fits-all cytotoxics and the newer more selective targeted agents on the one hand and the tantalising prospect of really raising our game, and advancing in tandem with better prognostic and predictive tools, on the other.

This strategy will enable us to move from treating a risk of micro-metastases, based on classical clinico-pathological criteria, to being able to offer better treatment selectively, to just those individual women likely to benefit, using tumour-derived molecular data.