skip to content

Department of Oncology


Charlotte holds the following roles:

  • Deputy Head of Department of Oncology
  • Professor of Breast Clinical Oncology
  • NIHR Research Professor
  • Director of CRUK RadNet Cambridge
  • Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology



Charlotte Coles is Professor of Breast Cancer Clinical Oncology and Deputy Head of Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge. Her research aims are to provide cancer patients with the best chance of cure with least side effects by personalising radiation techniques. Charlotte is passionate about developing, delivering and implementing patient-centred research through team science and nurturing the next generation of researchers.


Charlotte graduated from University of Leicester Medical School and then trained in Medicine and Clinical Oncology. She undertook a PhD studentship in breast radiotherapy (RT) and led the Cambridge Breast intensity modulated RT (IMRT) trial as a trainee. For 12 years, Charlotte worked as clinical oncology NHS consultant whilst carrying out national clinical trial research.


She was appointed as Reader, University of Cambridge in 2017 and was awarded a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Research Professorship in 2019 for her risk-adapted breast RT research programme. Charlotte successfully led the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Radiation Research Centre of Excellence award at Cambridge to develop a translational research pipeline from basic radiation research through to clinical trials, with a focus on DNA damage response and genetic approaches to define drug-RT combinations.


She is Chief Investigator for 5 multicentre clinical trials: IMPORT LOW & HIGH, PRIMETIME, NEO-RT and PARABLE. Charlotte chaired the NCRI Early Disease Breast Cancer sub-group and is a member of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Committee and the CRUK Clinical Research Committee.


International roles include scientific tracks/faculty for SABCS, ESMO, EBCC and ESTRO. Charlotte was Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Oncology journal from 2015-21. She stepped down in 2021 to lead the Lancet Commission for Breast Cancer.


Key publications: 
  1. Coles CE, Anderson BO, Cameron D, Cardoso F, Horton R, Knaul FM, Mutebi M, Lee N; Lancet Breast Cancer Commission. The Lancet Breast Cancer Commission: tackling a global health, gender, and equity challenge. Lancet. 2022 Feb 18:S0140-6736(22)00184-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00184-2
  2. Meattini I, Becherini C, Boersma L, Kaidar-Person O, Nader Marta O,  Montero A, Offersen BV, Aznar MC, Belka C, Brunt AM, Dicuonzo S, Franco P, Krause M, MacKenzie M, Marinko M, Marrazzo L, Ratosa I, Scholten A, Senkus E, Stobart H, *Poortmans P and Coles CE. European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) Advisory Committee in Radiation Oncology Practice (ACROP) consensus recommendations on patient selection and dose/fractionation for external beam radiation therapy in early breast cancer. Accepted by Lancet Oncology. 2022: 23: e21-31.
  3. Brunt AM, Haviland JS, Wheatley DA, Sydenham MA, Alhasso A, Bloomfield DJ, Chan C, Churn M, Cleator S, Coles CE…Yarnold, on behalf of the FAST-Forward Trial Management Group. Hypofractionated breast radiotherapy for 1 week versus 3 weeks (FAST-Forward): 5-year efficacy and late normal tissue effects from a multicentre, non-inferiority, randomised, phase 3 trial. Lancet 2020;395(10237):1613-1626
  4. Internal mammary node irradiation in breast cancer: does benefit outweigh risk? Coles CE, Haviland JS, Kirby AM. Lancet Oncol. 2020 Nov 2:S1470-2045(20)30551-9. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30551-9. Online ahead of print.
  5. Bhattacharya IS, Haviland JS, Kirby AM, Kirwan CC, Hopwood P, Yarnold JR, Bliss JM and Coles CE on behalf of the IMPORT Trialists. Patient reported outcomes over 5 years following whole or partial breast radiotherapy: longitudinal analysis of the IMPORT LOW phase III randomised controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Feb 1;37(4):305-317.
  6. Coles CE, Bliss JM, Poortmans PM. Accelerated partial breast irradiation: more questions than answers? Lancet. 2019 Dec 14;394(10215):2127-2129. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32959-9. Epub 2019 Dec 5.
  7. Coles CE. Another piece in the jigsaw of accelerated partial breast irradiation. Lancet Oncol. 2017 Feb;18(2):168-169.
  8. 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. 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. Lancet. 2017 Sep 9;390(10099):1048-1060.
  9. 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. A randomised controlled trial of Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) for early breast cancer: 5-year results confirm superior overall cosmesis. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2013. 31; 36: 4488-95.
Deputy Head of Department of Oncology
Professor of Breast Clinical Oncology
Portrait photo of Prof Charlotte Coles

Contact Details

Oncology Centre
R4 Block
Box 193, Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Hills Road
RadNet Programme Manager: Ms Nicola Le Blond - Email:
Not available for consultancy