Professor of Psycho Oncology at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Professor Dame Lesley Fallowfield, has been awarded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s (BCRF’s) highest scientific award.
US-based BCRF is the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world and provides critical funding to fuel advances in tumour biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis, and survivorship. Professor Fallowfield, Director of Sussex Health Outcomes, Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C), has been a BCRF Investigator since 2016.
She has been awarded the Jill Rose Award for Scientific Excellence at the organisation’s annual Virtual Symposium and Awards Luncheon on 14 October in recognition of her work on developing educational programmes to help healthcare professionals discussing complex test results and treatment options with patients with breast cancer.
Professor Fallowfield said: “It’s an honour to receive such a prestigious award. As a result of some of our recent BCRF grants, we have been able to develop, run and evaluate some novel educational programmes that help healthcare professionals to explain the complexity of modern breast cancer tests and treatments, allowing patients to make more informed choices.
“For example, gene expression profiling tests produce scores that help identify if a patient has a low, intermediate or high risk of breast cancer recurring. If the patient is at high risk they should be offered chemotherapy, but there's a bigger question about the intermediate and low-risk patients who are probably better off not having the chemo which will provide little or no benefit – this is known as de-escalating treatment and can be difficult to explain to anxious patients who may believe that where life threat is involved more treatment must surely be better than less.”
In 2021-2022, BCRF will award $47.5 million in annual grants to 250 leading scientists from top universities and medical institutions across 14 countries.
Professor Fallowfield and her team at SHORE-C are involved in a range of research in psychosocial oncology, looking at the psychological, social, behavioural and ethical aspects of cancer.
Hear Lesley talking about the Jill Rose award and her research with BCRF in the video below.