Professor Charlotte Coles

University of Cambridge
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University departments
Department of Oncology
NHS or other affiliations
Addenbrooke's oncology centre

Position: Honorary Clinical Oncology Consultant, Professor of Breast Cancer Clinical Oncology, NIHR Research Professor, Deputy Head of Department of Oncology, Cancer Research UK RadNet Cambridge Lead
Personal home page:

PubMed journal articles - click here

Professor Charlotte Coles is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.

Research description

Charlotte Coles is Professor of Breast Cancer Clinical Oncology, University of Cambridge; NIHR Research Professor, and Director of CRUK RadNet Cambridge. She leads practice-changing breast radiotherapy trials, has influenced international hypofractionation policy and is addressing global health, gender, and equity challenges within the Lancet Breast Cancer Commission.

Charlotte led the Cambridge Breast IMRT Trial, providing evidence for simple breast IMRT as standard-of-care; and IMPORT Low, showing partial-breast radiotherapy was non-inferior to whole-breast with similar or reduced toxicity. She leads IMPORT High with 5-year results showing efficacy and safety of hypofractionated simultaneous integrated boost. Charlotte is a member of the FAST-Forward Trial Management Group, demonstrating that 1-week is non-inferior to 3-week radiotherapy with similar side-effects. These trials have informed NICE guidelines and are internationally practice-changing. She also leads PRIMETIME: biomarker-directed omission of breast radiotherapy; and PARABLE, the first UK breast proton beam therapy trial.

Charlotte facilitated international breast radiotherapy guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic and co-led UK and European Breast Radiotherapy Consensuses, facilitating equity of access to breast hypofractionation. She was awarded a NIHR Research Professorship and led the Cancer Research UK RadNet Cambridge award to develop a translational research pipeline from basic radiation research through to clinical trials.

She was Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Oncology from 2015-21 and chaired the Lancet Breast Cancer Commission. In 2023, she was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences and awarded the Royal College of Radiologists’ Gold Medal. Charlotte is passionate about implementing patient-centred research through team science and nurturing the next generation of researchers.

Research Programme or Virtual Institute
Breast Cancer Virtual Institute
Strategic Resources
Cambridge Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
CRUK RadNet Cambridge


Recent publications:
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Key publications
  1. Coles CE, Earl H, Anderson BO, Barrios CH, Bienz M, Bliss JM, Cameron DA, Cardoso F, Cui W, Francis PA, Jagsi R, Knaul FM, McIntosh SA, Phillips KA, Radbruch L, Thompson MK, André F, Abraham JE, Bhattacharya IS, Franzoi MA, Drewett L, Fulton A, Kazmi F, Inbah Rajah D, Mutebi M, Ng D, Ng S, Olopade OI, Rosa WE, Rubasingham J, Spence D, Stobart H, Vargas Enciso V, Vaz-Luis I, Villarreal-Garza C; Lancet Breast Cancer Commission. The Lancet Breast Cancer Commission. Lancet. 2024 Apr 12:S0140-6736(24)00747-5. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(24)00747-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38636533.
  2.  Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group (EBCTCG). Radiotherapy to regional nodes in early breast cancer: an individual patient data meta-analysis of 14 324 women in 16 trials. Lancet. 2023 Nov 25;402(10416):1991-2003. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01082-6. Epub 2023 Nov 3. PMID: 37931633.
  3. Coles CE, Haviland JS, Kirby AM, Griffin CL, Sydenham MA, Titley JC, Bhattacharya I, Brunt AM, Chan HY, Donovan EM, Eaton DJ, Emson M, Hopwood P, Jefford ML, Lightowlers SV, Sawyer EJ, Syndikus I, Tsang YM, Twyman NI, Yarnold JR and Bliss JM, on behalf of the IMPORT Trial Management Group. Dose escalated simultaneous integrated boost radiotherapy in early breast cancer: results of the IMPORT HIGH multi-centre phase III randomised controlled trial (ISRCTN47437448). Lancet 2023. Jun 24;401(10394):2124-2137. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(23)00619-0. Epub 2023 Jun 8.
  4. 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. Lancet Oncology. 2022: 23: e21-31
  5. 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
  6. Coles CE, Aristei C, Bliss J, Boersma L, Brunt AM, Chatterjee S, Hanna G, Jagsi R, Kaidar Person O, Kirby A, Mjaaland I, Meattini I, Luis AM, Marta GN, Offersen B, Poortmans P, Rivera S. International Guidelines on Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol)2020 May;32(5):279-281. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2020.03.006.
  7. 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.
  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.