The University of Sheffield
Department of Oncology

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

Prof. Robert Coleman

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


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



I graduated from Kings College Hospital Medical School, University of London in 1978. Following clinical training in oncology in London and Edinburgh and completion of a research doctorate (MD) in the field of bone metastases, I became senior lecturer and honorary consultant in the newly formed Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology at Weston Park Hospital in 1991. Following subsequent promotions to Reader in 1996 and Professor in 1999, I now lead a large clinical research team and am Director of the Gestational Trophoblastic Diseases Treatment Centre in Sheffield. Since 2011, I have been an Associate Director of the National Cancer Research Network (NCRN). I am the Lead for the new CR-UK / YCR Sheffield Cancer Centre. I was Chairman of the National Cancer Research Institute Breast Cancer Study Group in the UK (2004-09) and Past-President of the Cancer and Bone Society (2005-08).
Over the years, I have developed a highly successful cancer clinical trials facility, which has both led and participated in a broad range of clinical trials. These have ranged from early phase drug development studies to large phase III randomised trials. As research lead for clinical cancer research I am responsible for running the Cancer Clinical Trials Centre, a purpose built clinical research facility that provides the research infrastructure for the North Trent Cancer Research Network, the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, and the breast cancer component of the bone oncology research laboratories within the medical school.

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, 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 have 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

I am a frequent lecturer at national and international meetings on various aspects of breast cancer management, cancer induced bone disease and treatment related side effects. I have worked with many societies, educational organisations and pharmaceutical companies organising educational meetings on both a national and international scale. In addition to being a member of various scientific conference committees in the past (including NCRI, British Oncological Association and European Breast Cancer Conference), I have been the conference scientific chairman for several international meetings including the Cancer and Bone Society in 2005, Davos and 2008, Edinburgh.

Locally, I have run the Late Effects Conferences in 2006, 2008 and 2010, co-chair the Sheffield chemotherapy course for oncology trainees, and teach clinicians, nurses and patient advocates on a range of oncological issues.

Professional Activities

Associate Director, National Cancer Research Network (NCRN) 2011
NCRI Breast Group Committee Member 2001-
ESMO Faculty Member for Breast Cancer 2009-
Visiting Professor to Toho University Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. 2006-

Current Projects

AZURE Clinical trial of adjuvant bisphosphonates in early breast cancer with translational components

BISMARK trial of marker directed therapy

Industry portfolio of studies

Late Effects of cancer treatment focusing on endocrine and metabolic issues

Key Publications

Coleman RE., Banks LM., Girgis SI., Kilburn LS., Vrdolijak E., Fox J., Cawthorn SJ., Patel A., Snowdon CF., Hall E., Bliss JM., Coombes RC Skeletal effects of exemestane on bone-mineral density, bone biomarkers, and fracture incidence in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer participating in the Intergroup Exemestane Study (IES): a randomised controlled study. Lancet Oncol. 8: 119-127, 2007.

Smith I., Procter M., Gelber RD., Guillaume S., Feyereislova A., Dowsett M., Goldhirsch A., Untch M., Mariani G., Baselga J., Kaufmann M., Cameron D., Bell R., Bergh J., Coleman R., Wardley A., Harbeck N., Lopez RI., Mallmann P., Gelmon K., Wilcken N., Wist E., Sanchez Rovira P., Piccart-Gebhart MJ for the HERA study team. 2-year follow-up of trastuzumab after adjuvant chemotherapy in HER2-positive breast cancer: a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 369: 29-36, 2007.

Coombes RC., Kilburn LS., Snowdon CF., Paridaens R., Coleman RE., Jones SE., Jassem J., Van de Velde CJH., Delozier T., Alvarez I., Del Mastro L., Ortmann O., Diedrich K., Coates AS., Bajetta E., Holmberg SB., Dodwell D., Michiewicz E., Anderson J., Lonning PE., Cocconi G., Forbes J., Castiglione M., Stuart N., Stewart A., Fallowfield LJ., Bertelli G., Hall E., Bogle RG., Carpentieri M., Colajori E., Subar M., Ireland E., Bliss JM on behalf of the Intergroup Exemestane Study. Survival and safety of exemestane versus tamoxifen after 2-3 years´ tamoxifen treatment (Intergroup Exemestane Study): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 369: 559-70, 2007.

Lipton A., Cook R., Saad F., Major P., Garnero P., Terpos E., Brown JE., Coleman RE. Normalization of bone markers is associated with improved survival in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors and elevated bone resorption receiving zoledronic acid. Cancer, 113: 193-201, 2008.

Ottewell PD, Mönkkönen H, Jones M, Lefley DV, Coleman RE, Holen I. Antitumor effects of doxorubicin followed by zoledronic acid in a mouse model of breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 100: 1-12, 2008.

Lipton A., Steger GG., Figueroa J., Alvarado C., Solal-Celigny P., Body J-J., de Boer R., Berardi R., Gascon P., Tonkin KS., Coleman RE., Paterson AHG., Gao GM., Kinsey AC., Peterson MC., Jun S. Extended efficacy and safety of denosumab in breast cancer patients with bone metastases not receiving prior bisphosphonate therapy. Clinical Cancer Research 14(20): 6690-6696, 2008.

Ellis, P., Barrett-Lee P., Johnson L., Cameron D., Wardley, A., O´Reilly S., Verrill M., Smith I., Yarnold J., Coleman R, Earl H., Canney P., Twelves C., Poole C., Bloomfield D., Hopwood P., Johnston S., Dowsett M., Bartlett JMS., Ellis I., Peckitt C., Hall E., Bliss JM for the TACT Trial Management Group and the TACT Trialists. Sequential docetaxel as adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer (TACT): an open-label, phase III, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 373 (May 16): 1681-1692, 2009.

Coleman R., Winter MC., Cameron D., Bell R., Dodwell D., Keane MM., Gil M., Ritchie D., Passos-Coelho JL., Wheatley D., Burkinshaw R. The effects of adding zoledronic acid to neoadjuvant chemotherapy on tumour response – exploratory evidence for direct anti-tumour activity in breast cancer. Br J Cancer, 102: 1099-1105, 2010.

Eidtmann H, de Boer R., Bundred N., Llombart-Cussac A., Davidson N., Neven P., von Minckwitz G., Miller J., Schenk N., Coleman R, Efficacy of Zoledronic Acid in Postmenopausal Women With Early Breast Cancer Adjuvant Letrozole: 36-month Results of the ZO-FAST Study . Annals of Oncology, 21: 2188-2194, 2010.

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.

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.

Mansi JL., Yellowlees A., Lipscombe J., Earl HM., Cameron DA., Coleman RE., Perren T., Gallagher CJ., Quigley M., Crown J., Jones AL., Highley M., Leonard RCF., Evans TRJ. Five-year outcome for women randomised in a phase III trial comparing doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide with doxorubicin and docetaxel as primary medical therapy in early breast cancer: an Anglo-Celtic Coperative Oncology Group Study. Breast Cancer Res. Treat. 122: 787-794, 2010.

Coleman R., 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.

Oliver RTD, Mead GM, Rustin GJS, Joffe J, Aass N, Coleman R, 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). J Clin Oncol 29(8), 957-62, 2011.

Walkington L., Webster J., Hancock BW., Everard J., Coleman RE. Hyperthyroidism and human chorionic gonadotrophin production in gestational trophoblastic disease. British Journal of Cancer, advance online publication, 26 April 2011.

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. J. Clin. Oncol. Advance online publication 18 July 2011.

Coleman RE, Marshall H, Cameron D, Dodwell D, Burkinshaw R, Keane M, Gil M, Houston S, Grieve R, Barrett-Lee P, Ritchie D, Pugh J, Gaunt C, Rea U, Peterson J, Davies C, Hiley V, Gregory W, Bell R. Breast Cancer Adjuvant Therapy With and Without Zoledronic Acid. New England Journal of Medicine, in press, 2011.