Meet Helen Clarke, a Clinical Research Training Fellow, jointly funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research. In her PhD project, she’s aiming to define the molecular impact of total dietary replacement in endometrial and breast tissues.
The primary outcome of my project is a reduction in Ki67 – a cellular marker of proliferation. Secondary outcomes include changes in anthropometric measurements, markers of inflammation, insulin resistance and changes in mammographic density.
Clinical Research Training Fellow
What is your background?
I am a Senior Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics & Gynaecology. I started my training within the Mersey Deanery following my foundation year rotations in the West Midlands Deanery. I graduated from Keele University School of Medicine in 2012. I hold a BSc in Biomedical Science which I undertook before going to Medical School in 2007. I’ve taken 3 years out of training to undertake my PhD, which started in October 2019.
Tell us about your research.
The title of my PhD is ‘Defining the Molecular Impact of Total Dietary Replacement in Endometrial and Breast Tissues’. I have many research outcomes! I am leading a randomised controlled trial using a period of dietary replacement (calorie restriction of 850kcal per day) for 3 months in combination with 9 months of calorie controlled Mediterranean style food based-diet. We are performing biopsies of the breast and endometrium at baseline and 3-months to evaluate the molecular changes within these tissues to see if reductions can lead to cancer risk reduction/prevention. The primary outcome of my project is a reduction in Ki67 – a cellular marker of proliferation. Secondary outcomes include changes in anthropometric measurements, markers of inflammation, insulin resistance and changes in mammographic density.
Who do you work/collaborate with?
I work in three teams technically; breast biology at MCRC, endometrial team at St. Mary’s Hospital and research dietetics at Prevent Breast Cancer Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital.
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