Breast and Ovarian

The Breast and Ovarian Focus Group has over twenty members covering disciplines ranging from basic science, medical oncology, surgery and pathology. The aim of the group is to identify specific clinical problems within the breast and ovarian cancer disease settings and to facilitate and drive translational research in these areas.

There are two collaborative projects already underway. The first project involves the identification of genes/pathways responsible for causing chemoresistance in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a subtype which shows the highest relapse rates and lowest survival rates. The second project involves the investigation of the fallopian tube fimbriae as the source of high grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOC). Both TNBC and HGSOC represent types of cancers with the highest death rates in their respective disease settings.

Other areas of focus include:

  • Development of markers of pathogenesis in TNBCs;
  • Resistance to endocrine therapies in ERα positive breast cancers;
  • The biology and treatment of high grade endometrial cancers;
  • Identifying pathways aberrantly activated in BRCA1 mutant breast cancers;
  • The identification of early warning blood-borne markers of breast and ovarian cancer;
  • The identification of BRCA1/p63 co-regulated genes.

Ultimately this focus group aims to translate research findings such as the identification of novel biomarkers or the development of novel therapies and incorporate them into prospective clinical trials based in Belfast.

Group Membership

Prof Paul Harkin
Prof Paul Harkin
Chairperson: Professor Paul Harkin
Dr Jaine Blayney Dr Paul Mullan
Dr Alison Clayton Dr Kostya Panov
Dr Mohamed El-Tanani Professor Kevin Prise
Dr Ian Harley Dr Tracey Robson
Dr Gareth Irwin Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez
Dr Colin James Dr Steven Walker 
Professor Richard Kennedy  Professor David Waugh 
Professor Dennis McCance        Dr Rich Williams 
Dr Glenn McCluggage Dr Shu-Dong Zhang 
Dr Stuart McIntosh