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Jack Cuzick, PhD, FRS, CBE
Professor of Epidemiology
Queen Mary University of London
Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group
Cancer Research UK
London, United Kingdom
- Seeking to improve risk assessment in high-risk women by identifying protein and gene biomarkers.
- Clinical trial specimens including blood, tumor tissue, mammograms and clinical data are analyzed to identify biomarkers to improve risk prediction.
- The creation of a large biobank of clinical trial specimens ensures an invaluable resource to study breast cancer outcomes and identify risk prediction biomarkers
Large randomized clinical trials provide an opportunity to study patient samples for clues for predicting response to therapy or late recurrence. Drs. Cuzick and Francis have created a large biobank of tissue, blood and clinical data collected as part of clinical trials. They use these samples to look for biomarkers that can be used to understand why some patients respond to therapy and others do not, or to identify patients with a high risk their breast cancer will come back.
Full Research Summary
Well-designed randomized clinical trials may provide information about prevention strategies and effective treatments for women at risk of, or diagnosed with, breast cancer. A major limitation of clinical trials, however, is that results apply to the trial group as a whole, but not necessarily to each individual woman, because individual responses are influenced by the patient's and the tumor's unique genetic profile.
The goal of the BCRF research led by Drs. Cuzick and Francis is to precisely identify risks for individual women based on protein and gene biomarkers that can predict outcomes for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. To do this, they created a High-Risk Breast Bio-Bank (HRBB) that includes blood, tumor tissue, and mammograms with clinical outcome data and long-term follow-up of individual women in prevention and treatment trials.
Over the last year, the researchers added several hundred tumor biopsies, DNA and RNA samples each and several thousand mammograms further expanding the biospecimen resource. Collaborative projects are already underway and new projects are being developed, including collaborations with other BCRF investigators.
In the coming year, Drs. Cuzick and Francis will continue to add to the HRBB with samples from three new trials, EXPERT, CHARIOT, and DIAmOND, as well as a new cohort study called PRIMROSE, thus further expanding this excellent resource for future translational research by collaborating with investigators throughout the world.
Patient samples collected through these and other trials will be used to conduct analyses of clinical outcome data and biomarkers to improve prediction of risks for the trial population and expand the excellent HRBB resource for future translational research.
Jack Cuzick, PhD is Director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London. He is also head of the Centre for Cancer Prevention and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at Queen Mary, University of London. He holds a PhD in Mathematics and has previously worked at Oxford University and Columbia University, New York.
His current interests are in cancer epidemiology and clinical trials, with special interest in prevention and screening. He is currently Chairman of the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS) Steering Group and the ATAC trial. He has worked extensively in breast cancer and was the first to report the effect of tamoxifen on contralateral tumors as an indicator of its potential chemopreventive role and also has demonstrated that a change in mammographic breast density on endocrine treatment is a biomarker for its effectiveness. He is involved in studies on the use of HPV assays for cervical screening, the use of flexible sigmoidoscopy for colorectal cancer screening and markers for the behavior of early prostate cancer.
Dr. Cuzick is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Statistical Society, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and was awarded a CBE by the Queen in 2017. In 2007, he was chosen by Thompson Scientific as one of the twelve hottest researchers in all of science and this has been re-awarded for several years thereafter. He was awarded the AACR Cancer Prevention Prize in 2012. He is the author of more than 650 peer-reviewed papers and has published in all the major medical journals