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Research projects

Dr Susana Banerjee, Gynaecological Cancers (Systemic Therapy and Clinical Trials) Team

Academic clinical trials

We work closely with the Drug Development Unit to help take early-phase clinical trials to phase II stage in gynaecological cancers. An example is the OCTOPUS trial (Chief Investigator Dr Susana Banerjee) – a multicentre, randomised, phase II umbrella trial of weekly Paclitaxel +/- novel agents in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (vistusertib, dual mTORC1/2 inhibitor), presented at ESMO 2019. The translational research collaboration is with Professor Udai Banerji (ICR) and Professor Iain McNeish (Imperial).

The CORAL trial is the first clinical trial of abiraterone in ovarian cancer. This multicentre study, run through the ICR Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit, was presented as a late-breaking abstract oral presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2016. The translational research work is in collaboration with Professor Mitch Dowsett and Dr Gert Attard.

The ATARI trial (ICR-sponsored) is an international (ENGOT/GCIG/NCRI led), multi-centre proof of concept study in clear cell carcinoma and other rare gynaecological cancers based on preclinical studies from Professor Chris Lord’s team. It is the first trial selecting treatment (ATR inhibitor (AZD6738) alone or in combination with the PARP inhibitor, olaparib) based on ARID1A status. This trial will also open in France and Canada. The translational programme led by Professor Chris Lord and Dr Rachael Natrajan's teams includes the Centre for Molecular Pathology and Royal Marsden Gynaecology Unit Pathology teams. 

BRCA-related ovarian cancer and PARP inhibitors

  • Clinical trials of PARP inhibitors. Dr Banerjee is the Principal Investigator at The Royal Marsden of trials including the NOVA trial (niraparib), SOLO2 (olaparib), ARIEL2 and ARIEL3 (rucaparib).
  • Developing and delivering the oncogenetic BRCA testing pathway in medical oncology clinics (collaboration with Cancer Genetics)
  • Developing a pathway for somatic BRCA testing in clinical practice
  • Outcomes of patients with BRCA-related ovarian cancer
  • Patient experience and outcomes on PARP inhibitors
  • Understanding PARP inhibitor resistance (collaboration with Professor Chris Lord)

Improving outcomes of older women with gynaecological cancers

Lucy Dumas’ MD(Res) project focuses on older women with ovarian cancer. In addition to a 2-centre retrospective series of clinical outcomes, Dr Dumas studied sarcopenia as a marker of outcome. Her work led to being awarded the SIOG (International Society of Geriatric Oncology) Young Investigator Award 2018. 

Her work led to the development of a multicentre, national study. 

The FAIR-O trial (funded by Wellbeing of Women, Royal Marsden sponsored) is the first UK study to assess geriatric assessment and protocol-led interventions in the oncology clinics for women with ovarian cancer over the age of 70. This multi-centre study will also look at sarcopenia and biomarkers. 


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