Professor Rob Coleman MBBS, MD, FRCP (London & Edinburgh)

Professor Rob Coleman

Department of Oncology
Cancer Clinical Trials Centre
Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology
Weston Park Hospital
S10 2SJ

Office: Broomcross Building, Floor 2

Tel: +44 (0)114 226 5213
Fax: +44 (0)114 226 5364



Professor Robert (Rob) Coleman is Professor of Medical Oncology and Honorary Consultant in the Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology at Weston Park Hospital. He graduated in medicine from Kings College Hospital Medical School in 1978 and trained in London and Edinburgh before moving to Sheffield in 1991. He is Director of the Sheffield Cancer Research Centre and for more than 20 years has been instrumental in developing clinical cancer research in Sheffield. He is passionate about improving the care of cancer patients through research and has particular interests in developments in the management of breast cancer and the effects of cancer and its various treatments on the bones. He has published more than 350 scientific articles and 100 book chapters and leads a number of national and international clinical trials.

Research Interests

Since the mid 1980s my main research interest has been into cancer induced bone disease especially with relevance to breast cancer. My research in this area is internationally recognised and has included a range of clinical aspects of care, the development of bone targeted agents in oncology and their successful use in metastasis prevention, evaluation of bone markers in oncology to aid drug development and provide both prognostic and predictive information in the management of metastatic bone disease, and the assessment of adverse effects of cancer treatments on bone health and evaluation of various treatment strategies. I established a laboratory based translational programme of research into interactions between anticancer agents and bisphosphonates that has identified synergistic interactions that are now being tested in the clinic.

Teaching Interests

Frequent invited lecturer and plenary speaker on cancer induced bone diseases and/or developments in breast cancer at international meetings including ASCO, San Antonio Breast Conference, ESMO and EBCC among many others.

Founding chairman of Skeletal Care Academy.

Scientific Chair or Committee member of various conferences including Cancer and Bone Society, European Breast Cancer Conference, National Cancer Research Institute Annual Meeting, Late Effects in Cancer Survivors.

Professional Activities

2005 - 2008  Cancer & Bone Society President
2008 -            Cancer & Bone Society Board Member
2011 - 2013  Associate Director, NIHR National Cancer Research Network
2012 -            ESMO National UK Representative
2012 -            Assocation of Cancer Physicians Executive Committee
2009 - 2014  Gestational Trophoblastic Service Director
2011 -            CR-UK/YCR Sheffield Cancer Research Centre Director
2012 - 2014  Specialised Cancer Services Academic Director

Current Projects

Current active grants in excess of £10 million

  1. Breast Cancer Campaign.  The role of the tumour microenvironment in response to combination therapy (Co Applicant) - £116,704 - 2011-2014.
  2. Breast Cancer Campaign.  Potential biomarkers of bone metastasis - functional studies and clinical significance (Co Applicant) - £183,487 - 2014-2016.
  3. Breast Cancer Campaign.  The role of Endo180 in metastatic bone disease in advanced breast cancer (Co Applicant) - £20,000 - 2014-2016.
  4. Cancer Research UK and Yorkshire Cancer Research: Sheffield Cancer Research Centre (Lead Applicant) - £1,356,285 (CR-UK £976,285 and YCR £380,000) - 2011-2014.
  5. Cancer Research UK: Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (Co Applicant) - £1,000,000 - 2012-2017.
  6. Cancer Research UK: Testosterone Replacement in Young Male Survivors of Cancer (TRYMS) (Co Applicant) - £500,075 - 2010-2014.
  7. Cancer Research UK: Clinician Scientist Fellowship Cancer Research UK.  Novel biomarkers to improve outcomes for breast cancer patients at risk of bone metastases - a proteomics-based approach (Co Applicant).  JE Brown, P Selby,
    R Coleman, I Holen and R Banks - £947,000 - 2008-2013.  Postholder JE Brown.
  8. Health Technology Assessment - HTA project: 12/35/17 - POSNOC - POsitive Sentinel NOde: Adjuvant therapy alone versus adjuvant therapy plus Clearance or axillary radiotherapy: A randomised controlled trial of axillary treatment in women with early stage breast cancer who have metastases in one or two sentinel nodes (Co Applicant) - £2,100,000 - 2014-2023
  9. Medical Research Council/Astra Zeneca.  Mechanisms of Disease: The role of Src in cancer-induced bone pain (Co Applicant) - £884,626 - 2013-2016.
  10. National Institute for Health Research.  Bridging the age gap in breast cancer: Improving outcomes for older women (Co Applicant) - £1,705,273 - 2013-2018.
  11. Novartis Pharmaceuticals (AZURE Clinical Trial) (Principal Investigator) - £5,517,737 - 2003-2016.
  12. Novartis Pharmaceuticals (AZURE BMD Sub-study) (Principal Investigator) - £456,512 - 2009-2016.
  13. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Charitable Trust.  Health concerns in older prostate and male haematological patients: A size of the problem study (SOPS) (Co Applicant) - £102,426 - 2012-2014.
  14. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Charitable Trust.  A new option to preserve fertility: understanding the journey of women with cancer offered egg banking through vitrification (Co Applicant) - £68,964 - 2011-2014.
  15. Yorkshire Cancer Research. The Yorkshire Cancer Research Early Clinical Trials Network (Co Applicant) - £750,000 - 2014-2018.

Key Publications

  1. Coleman RE, Cameron D, Dodwell D, Bell R, Wilson C, Rathbone E, Keane M, Gil M, Burkinshaw R, Grieve R, Barrett-Lee P, Ritchie D, Liversedge V, Hinsley S, Marshall H, on behalf of the AZURE investigators.  Adjuvant zoledronic acid in patients with early breast cancer: final efficacy analysis of the AZURE (BIG 01/04) randomised open-label phase 3 trial.  Lancet Oncology E-pub ahead of print 2014.
  2. Sartor O, Coleman RE, Nilsson S, Heinrich D, Helle SI, O'Sullivan JM, Fosså SD, Chodacki A, Wiechno P, Logue J, Widmark A, Johannessen DC, Hoskin P, James ND, Solberg A, Syndikus I, Vogelzang NJ, O'Bryan-Tear CG, Shan M, Bruland ØS, Parker C.  Effect of radium-223 dichloride on symptomatic skeletal events in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and bone metastases: results from a phase 3, double-blind, randomised trial. Lancet Oncology 15(7):738-46, 2014.
  3. Barrett-Lee P, Casbard A, Abraham J, Hood K, Coleman RE, Simmonds P, Timmins H, Wheatley D, Grieve R, Griffiths G, Murray N. Oral ibandronic acid versus intravenous zoledronic acid in treatment of bone metastases from breast cancer: a randomised, open label, non-inferiority phase 3 trial.  Lancet Oncology 15(1):114-22, 2014.
  4. Parker C, Nilsson S, Heinrich D, Helle SI, O'Sullivan JM, Fosså SD, Chodacki A, Wiechno P, Logue J, Seke M, Widmark A, Johannessen DC, Hoskin P, Bottomley D, James ND, Solberg A, Syndikus I, Kliment J, Wedel S, Boehmer S, Dall'Oglio M, Franzén L, Coleman RE, Vogelzang NJ, O'Bryan-Tear CG, Staudacher K, Garcia-Vargas J, Shan M, Bruland ØS, Sartor O; ALSYMPCA Investigators.  Alpha emitter radium-223 and survival in metastatic prostate cancer.  New England Journal of Medicine 18;369:213-23, 2013.
  5. Mackey JR, Martin M, Pienkowski T, Rolski J, Guastalla J-P, Sami A, Glaspy J, Juhos E, Wardley A, Fornander T, Hainsworth J, Coleman RE, Modiano MR, Vinholes J, Pinter T, Rodriguez-Lescure A, Colwell B, Whitlock P, Provencher L, Laing K, Walde D, Price C, Hugh JC, Childs BH, Bassi K, Lindsay M-A, Wilson V, Rupin M, Houe V, Vogel C. for the TRIO/BCIRG 001 Investigators.  Adjuvant docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide in node-positive breast cancer: 10-year follow-up of the phase 3 randomised BCIRG 001 trial.  Lancet Oncology, 2013 Jan;14(1):72-80.
  6. Coleman RE, De Boer R, Eidtmann H, Llombart A, Davidson N, Neven P, von Minckwitz G, Sleeboom H, Forbes J, Barrios C, Frassoldati A, Campbell I, Paija O, Martin N, Modi A, Bundred N.  Zoledronic acid (zoledronate) for postmenopausal women with early breast cancer receiving adjuvant letrozole (ZO-FAST study): final 60-month results.  Annals of Oncology, 2013 Feb;24(2):398-405.
  7. Rathbone EJ, Brown JE, Marshall HC, Collinson M, Liversedge V, Murden GA, Cameron D, Bell R, Spensley S, Agrawal R, Jyothirmayi R, Chakraborti P, Yuille F, Coleman RE.  Osteonecrosis of the Jaw and Oral Health – Related quality of life after adjuvant zoledronic acid: an adjuvant zoledronic acid to reduce recurrence trial subprotocol (BIG1/04).  Journal of Clinical Oncology 31/21:2685-2692, 2013.
  8. Winter MC, Wilson C, Syddall SP, Cross SS, Evans A, Ingram CE, Jolley IJ, Hatton MQ, Freeman JV, Mori S, Holen I, Coleman RE.  Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with or without zoledronic acid in early breast cancer – a randomised biomarker pilot study. Clinical Cancer Research 19(10):2755-65, 2013.
  9. Smith MR, Saad F, Coleman RE, Shore N, Fizazi K, Tombal B, Miller K, Sieber P, Karsh L, Damiao R, Tammela TL, Egerdie B, Van Poppel H, Chin J, Morote J, Gomez-Veiga F, Borkowski T, Ye Z, Kupic A, Dansey R, Goessl C.  Denosumab and bone-metastasis-free survival in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer: results of a phase 3, randomised, placebo-controlled trial.  The Lancet 379: 39-46, 2012.
  10. Coleman RE, Marshall H, Cameron D, Dodwell D, Burkinshaw R, Keane M, Gil M, Houston SJ, Grieve RJ, Barrett-Lee PJ, Ritchie D, Pugh J, Gaunt C, Rea U, Peterson J, Davies C, Hiley V, Gregory W, Bell R on behalf of the AZURE investigators. Breast Cancer Adjuvant Therapy with Zoledronic Acid.  New England Journal of Medicine, 365: 1396-1405, 2011.
  11. Coombes RC, Bliss JM, Espie M, Erdkamp F, Wals J, Tres A, Marty M, Coleman RE, Tubiana-Mathieu N, den Boer MO, Wardley A, Kilburn LS, Cooper D, Thomas MWK, Reise JA, Wilkinson H, Hupperets P.  Randomized, phase III trial of sequential epirubicin and docetaxel versus epirubicin alone in postmenopausal patients with node-positive breast cancer.  Journal of Clinical Oncology 29/24: 3247-3254, 2011.
  12. Coleman RE, Woodward E, Brown J, Cameron D, Bell R, Dodwell D, Keane M, Gil M, Davies C, Burkinshaw R, Houston SJ, Grieve RJ, Barrett-Lee PJ, Thorpe H.  Safety of zoledronic acid and incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) during adjuvant therapy in a randomised phase III trial (AZURE: BIG 01-04) for women with stage II/III breast cancer.  Breast Cancer Res Treat. 127: 429-438, 2011.
  13. Oliver RTD, Mead GM, Rustin GJS, Joffe J, Aass N, Coleman RE, Gabe R, Pollock P and Stenning SP.  Randomized trial of Carboplatin versus radiotherapy for Stage 1 seminoma: Mature results on relapse and contralateral testis cancer rates in MRC TE19/EORTC 30982 Study (ISRCTN27163214).  Journal of Clinical Oncology 29(8), 957-62, 2011.
  14. Eastell R, Adams J, Clack G, Howell A, Cuzick J, Mackey J, Beckmann MW, Coleman RE.  Long-term effects of anastrozole on bone mineral density: 7-year results from the ATAC trial.  Annals of Oncology 22(4): 857-62, 2010.
  15. Coleman RE, Banks LM, Girgis SI, Vrdoljak E, Fox J, Cawthorn SJ, Patel A, Bliss JM, Coombes RC, Kilburn LS on behalf of the Intergroup Exemestane Study (IES) group.  Reversal of skeletal effects of endocrine treatments in the Intergroup Exemestane Study.  Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 124(1): 153-161, 2010.