We hope that our research can predict which patients are not going to benefit from standard treatments, making it possible to give more individualised treatment plans in future.Dr Sam Withey, Clinical Researcher in Cancer Imaging at The School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences
12 February 2021
Trainee radiologist receives award for research into patient response to cancer treatment
Dr Sam Withey, Clinical Researcher in Cancer Imaging at the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences received the British Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology’s Clive Bartram Prize for best scientific report by a trainee, in recognition of his research on oesophageal cancer (a cancer of the food pipe leading to the stomach).
Dr Withey, funded by Cancer Research UK, used MRI and glucose PET scans to find out if tumour characteristics (specifically vascularity and glucose metabolism) can predict which patients are likely to respond well to chemotherapy and radiotherapy that improve chances of successful surgery.
Dr Withey, who is also a Radiology Registrar at Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, said oesophageal cancer is difficult to treat and not all patients benefit from receiving additional therapy prior to having surgery.
As part of continuing work on the project, Dr Withey and his team will analyse whether additional MRI scans performed during and after chemotherapy and chemo-radiotherapy, or the change that occurs between them, can better predict response to treatment.
They are also involved in a large multi-centre study using CT scans instead of MRI to forecast patient response to treatment for oesophageal cancer.
Winning the Clive Bartram Prize gave Dr Withey the opportunity to present his research at the Society’s Annual Meeting on 5 February 2021.
“I would like to thank Cancer Research UK for my pre-doctoral research bursary, which funds my research time, and Professor Vicky Goh who has been a great supervisor and mentor to me, as well as all my collaborators on the project, ” Dr Withey said.
Professor Vicky Goh, Chair of Clinical Cancer Imaging at the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences and Dr Withey’s supervisor on the project said: “The team and I were delighted to hear that Sam was awarded this prize, which was thoroughly well-deserved; and for me, all the more special as Professor Bartram was also my mentor when I was training.”