skip to content

Department of Oncology


I am Deputy Head of Department, Professor of Breast Radiation Oncology, a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Research Professor, Cancer Research UK RadNet Cambridge Lead and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology.

I am also Chair of the UK National Cancer Research Institute Breast Clinical Studies Early Disease Subgroup, Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Oncology journal and lead for Cancer Research UK RadNet Cambridge Radiation Research Centre of Excellence and a member of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre Breast Research Programme.

My research aims are to provide breast cancer patients with the best chance of cure with least side effects, by personalising radiation techniques based on risk of recurrence. I am Chief Investigator of 4 clinical trials with linked translational research:

  1. IMPORT LOW: phase III randomised trial (RCT) investigating intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and partial breast radiotherapy in patients at low risk of recurrence – in follow up: 2018 patients recruited; 71 UK centres
  2. IMPORT HIGH: phase III RCT investigating dose-escalated IMRT for patients at higher risk of recurrence - in follow up: 2617 patients recruited; 77 UK centres
  3. PRIMETIME: prospective cohort investigating post-operative avoidance of radiotherapy in minimal risk women: patient selection using biomarkers – open: 45 UK centres to date
  4. NEO-RT: feasibility study investigating pre-operative breast IMRT in patients receiving neo-adjuvant hormonal treatment – open: 2 UK centres



Key publications: 

Pubmed journal articles - pubmed

Patient reported outcomes over 5 years following whole or partial breast radiotherapy: longitudinal analysis of the IMPORT LOW phase III randomised controlled trial. Bhattacharya IS, Haviland JS, Kirby AM, Kirwan CC, Hopwood P, Yarnold JR, Bliss JM and Coles CE on behalf of the IMPORT Trialists. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Feb 1;37(4):305-317. doi: 10.1200/JCO.18.00982. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Partial-breast radiotherapy after breast conservation surgery for patients with early breast cancer (UK IMPORT LOW trial): 5-year results from a multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 3, non-inferiority trial. Coles CE, Griffin CL, Kirby AM, Titley J, Agrawal RK, Alhasso A, Bhattacharya IS, Brunt AM, Ciurlionis L, Chan C, Donovan EM, Emson MA, Harnett AN, Haviland JS, Hopwood P, Jefford ML, Kaggwa R, Sawyer EJ, Syndikus I, Tsang YM, Wheatley DA, Wilcox M, Yarnold JR, Bliss JM; IMPORT Trialists. Lancet. 2017 Sep 9;390(10099):1048-1060. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31145-5. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Preoperative radiation therapy: The 'new' targeted breast cancer treatment? Coles CE, Fourquet A, Poortmans P.  Eur J Cancer. 2017 Apr 22;78:116-117.

Another piece in the jigsaw of accelerated partial breast irradiation. Coles CE.  Lancet Oncol. 2017 Jan 13. pii: S1470-2045(17)30001-3.

Treatment of regional lymph nodes in breast cancer: Evidence in favor of radiation therapy. Poortmans PMP, Coles CE, Bernier J. JAMA Oncology 2016. 2; 8: 989-90.

Accelerated partial breast irradiation: the new standard? Coles CE, Yarnold JR. Lancet 2016. 387; 10015: 201-2.

A randomised controlled trial of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) for early breast cancer: 5-year results confirm superior overall cosmesis. Mukesh MB, Barnett GC, Wilkinson JS, Moody AM, Wilson CB, Dorling L, Chan Wah Hak C, Qian W, Twyman N, Burnet NG, Wishart GC and Coles CE. J Clin Oncol. 2013. 31; 36: 4488-95.

Deputy Head of Department of Oncology
Professor in Breast Clinical Oncology
NIHR Research Professor
Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology
Cancer Research UK RadNet Cambridge Lead
Professor Charlotte  Coles

Contact Details

Cambridge Breast Cancer Research Unit
Box 97, Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Hills Road
+44 (0)1223 769463
Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy