Dr Mark P. Lythgoe is an academic clinical fellow at our Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, providing clinical care into multiple projects and seeking to understand how genetics can affect the development of ovarian cancer - and therefore the treatment of genetic cancers.
What is your role at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre?
I’m an Academic Clinical Fellow based in the OCA research unit. I essentially help to provide clinical care and input into a range of research projects we undertake in the unit. I work very closely with one of the OCAs lead investigators Dr Jonathan Krell in projects seeking to understanding the cancer genetics behind the development of ovarian cancer and other related cancers (e.g., breast cancer).
What inspired you to get involved with research?
Cancer is a huge growing global problem. Despite the advances we have made, we know that 1 in 2 people in the UK will be affected by cancer at some point in their lives. If cancers are detected at early stages (e.g. stage one or two) they have a much better outcome, than if they are detected at later stages. This is particularly true for ovarian cancer. The work I do at the OCA research centre is helping to identify those individuals who are at high risk of developing ovarian cancer so we can potentially screen them more effectively.
What projects are you working on that are funded by Ovarian Cancer Action?
I work with Dr Krell in the OCA research centre to help run the PROGRESS Trial. This study uses an ovarian cancer risk screening tool called Prevent, to use both genetic and epidemiological information to calculate a personalised risk score for ovarian cancer. We then provide screening and prevention recommendations to help detect ovarian cancer earlier or hopefully stop it from developing at all.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I find my job tremendously rewarding as it allows me to meet, and hopefully help, people from a huge range of different backgrounds. The work I am doing is hopefully having a huge impact on improving the lives of the patients I see for the better. Despite the challenges this can bring, this gives me the continuous motivation to keep working to improve what we are able to do to help them and their families.
All year round our scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Research Centre, The University of Oxford and beyond are working to find the next breakthrough in ovarian cancer research. Your donation will support the work they do each and every day.