Dr. Somnath Mukherjee is part of a team trying to improve outcomes in oesophageal patients treated with chemoradiotherapy. Currently only about a quarter of the patients treated with chemoradiotherapy survive beyond 5 years.
Following treatment cancers can recur both locally (due to a failure of radiotherapy) or in distant parts of the body (due to a failure of chemotherapy). Som is leading in clinical trial (CYTOFLOC) which is investigating whether a minimally invasive technology called cytosponge can reliably detect residual cancer in the oesophagus following chemoradiotherapy to help earlier detection of locally relapsing cancers which may be targeted with surgery in some patients. In addition, Som is also co-leading in a large multi-centre randomised trial (SCOPE2) which is investigating whether escalating radiotherapy dose or switching chemotherapy based on PET scan response, can improve outcomes in oesophageal cancer.
Within Oxford Som is collaborating with the Department of Oncology (including Prof Maria Hawkins and Prof Mark Middleton). Further collaborators are from the University of Cardiff (Dr Tom Crosby) and the University of Cambridge (Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald).