Dr Lesley-Ann Martin
Dr Lesley-Ann Martin is a Group Leader within the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, London.
Dr Martin looks at treatments for the most common type of breast cancer, known as hormone-receptor or oestrogen-receptor positive. Such tumours account for around 80% of breast cancers and are treated with endocrine agents such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. Although these treatments are generally effective initially, patients often develop resistance to them.
With Professor Dowsett, Dr Martin is trying to identify the phenotypic and genotypic alterations that influence response or resistance to endocrine therapy, and to translate these molecular findings into novel treatments. In order to do this Professor Dowsett has pioneered the largest pre-surgical study to date assessing aromatase inhibitor therapy in 4,500 women across the UK, allowing genome-wide molecular profiling to be conducted to define the underlying biology of hormone-receptor positive breast cancer.
In parallel, Dr Martin’s group have developed a panel of breast cancer cell lines that model clinical scenarios, and by using technologies such as RIME, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq and global kinome knockdown strategies, she is beginning to build a picture of the mechanisms of endocrine resistance. These models are giving an insight into oestrogen receptor biology and providing a platform in which to investigate clinical targets and to test new therapeutic strategies, many of which make their way into clinical trials led by Prof Stephen Johnston and Prof Dowsett.
As well as receiving funding from Breast Cancer Now with Professor Dowsett, Dr Martin also holds a number of academic industrial awards and sits on several advisory boards.