R P Symonds

University of Leicester, Leiscester, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (110)612.88 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Patients treated with standard chemotherapy for metastatic or relapsed cervical cancer respond poorly to conventional chemotherapy (response achieved in 20–30% of patients) with an overall survival of less than 1 year. High tumour angiogenesis and high concentrations of intratumoural VEGF are adverse prognostic features. Cediranib is a potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor of VEGFR1, 2, and 3. In this trial, we aimed to assess the effect of the addition of cediranib to carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy in patients with metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer.
    The Lancet Oncology 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00220-X · 24.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in oxidative stress-related genes associated with risk of late toxicities in breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy. Using a 2-stage design, 305 SNPs in 59 candidate genes were investigated in the discovery phase in 753 breast cancer patients from 2 prospective cohorts from Germany. The 10 most promising SNPs in 4 genes were evaluated in the replication phase in up to 1883 breast cancer patients from 6 cohorts identified through the Radiogenomics Consortium. Outcomes of interest were late skin toxicity and fibrosis of the breast, as well as an overall toxicity score (Standardized Total Average Toxicity). Multivariable logistic and linear regression models were used to assess associations between SNPs and late toxicity. A meta-analysis approach was used to summarize evidence. The association of a genetic variant in the base excision repair gene XRCC1, rs2682585, with normal tissue late radiation toxicity was replicated in all tested studies. In the combined analysis of discovery and replication cohorts, carrying the rare allele was associated with a significantly lower risk of skin toxicities (multivariate odds ratio 0.77, 95% confidence interval 0.61-0.96, P=.02) and a decrease in Standardized Total Average Toxicity scores (-0.08, 95% confidence interval -0.15 to -0.02, P=.016). Using a stage design with replication, we identified a variant allele in the base excision repair gene XRCC1 that could be used in combination with additional variants for developing a test to predict late toxicities after radiation therapy in breast cancer patients. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 04/2015; 92(5). DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.04.011 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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  • S Mukherjee · R P Symonds ·

    Clinical Oncology 07/2014; 26(9). DOI:10.1016/j.clon.2014.06.006 · 3.40 Impact Factor
  • R P Symonds · G D Jones ·

    Clinical Oncology 03/2014; 26(5). DOI:10.1016/j.clon.2014.02.005 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bladder cancer patients suffer significant treatment failure, including high rates of recurrence and poor outcomes for advanced disease. If mechanisms to improve tumour cell treatment sensitivity could be identified and/or if tumour response could be predicted, it should be possible to improve local-control and survival. Previously, we have shown that radiation-induced DNA damage, measured by alkaline Comet assay (ACA), correlates bladder cancer cell radiosensitivity in vitro. In the present study we firstly show that modified-ACA measures of cisplatin and mitomycin-C-induced damage also correlate bladder cancer cell chemosensitivity in vitro, with essentially the same rank order for chemosensitivity as for radiosensitivity. Furthermore, ACA studies of radiation-induced damage in different cell-DNA substrates (nuclei, nucleoids & intact parent cells) suggest that it is a feature retained in the prepared nucleoids that is responsible for the relative damage sensitivity of bladder cancer cells, suggestive of differences in the organisation of DNA within resistant vs. sensitive cells. Secondly, we show that ACA analysis of biopsies from bladder tumours reveal that reduced DNA damage sensitivity associates with poorer treatment outcomes, notably that tumours with a reduced damage response show a significant association with local recurrence of non-invasive disease and that reduced damage response was a better predictor of recurrence than the presence of high-risk histology in this cohort. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that mechanisms governing treatment-induced DNA damage are both central to and predictive of bladder cancer cell treatment sensitivity and exemplifies a link between DNA damage resistance and both treatment response and tumour aggression. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    International Journal of Cancer 03/2014; 134(5). DOI:10.1002/ijc.28437 · 5.09 Impact Factor
  • S. Mukherjee · R.P. Symonds ·

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    ABSTRACT: This cross-sectional survey investigated whether there were ethnic differences in depressive symptoms among British South Asian (BSA) patients with cancer compared with British White (BW) patients during 9 months following presentation at a UK Cancer Centre. We examined associations between depressed mood, coping strategies and the burden of symptoms. Questionnaires were administered to 94 BSA and 185 BW recently diagnosed patients with cancer at baseline and at 3 and 9 months. In total, 53.8% of the BSA samples were born in the Indian subcontinent, 33% in Africa and 12.9% in the UK. Three screening tools for depression were used to counter concerns about ethnic bias and validity in linguistic translation. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (both validated in Gujarati), Emotion Thermometers (including the Distress Thermometer (DT), Mini-MAC and the newly developed Cancer Insight and Denial questionnaire (CIDQ) were completed. Leicestershire Cancer Centre, UK. 94 BSA and 185 BW recently diagnosed patients with cancer. BSA self-reported significantly higher rates of depressive symptoms compared with BW patients longitudinally (HADS-D ≥8: baseline: BSA 35.1% vs BW 16.8%, p=0.001; 3 months BSA 45.6% vs BW 20.8%, p=0.001; 9 months BSA 40.6% vs BW 15.3%, p=0.004). BSA patients used potentially maladaptive coping strategies more frequently than BW patients at baseline (hopelessness/helplessness p=0.005, fatalism p=0.0005, avoidance p=0.005; the CIDQ denial statement 'I do not really believe I have cancer' p=0.0005). BSA patients experienced more physical symptoms (DT checklist), which correlated with ethnic differences in depressive symptoms especially at 3 months. Health professionals need to be aware of a greater probability of depressive symptomatology (including somatic symptoms) and how this may present clinically in the first 9 months after diagnosis if this ethnic disparity in mental well-being is to be addressed.
    BMJ Open 06/2013; 3(6). DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002650 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: We investigated the feasibility of dose-dense neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) with paclitaxel and carboplatin before radical chemoradiation (CRT) and assessed the response rate to such a regimen. Methods: CxII is a single-arm phase II trial of 46 patients, with locally advanced cervical cancer (stage Ib2-IVa). Patients received dose-dense carboplatin (AUC2) and paclitaxel (80 mg m−2) weekly for six cycles followed by CRT (40 mg m−2 of weekly cisplatin, 50.4 Gy, 28 fractions plus brachytherapy). The primary end point was response rate 12 weeks post-CRT. Results: Baseline characteristics were: median age at diagnosis 43 years; 72% squamous, 22% adenocarcinoma and 7% adenosquamous histologies; FIGO stage IB2 (11%), II (50%), III (33%), IV (7%). Complete or partial response rate was 70% (95% CI: 54–82) post-NACT and 85% (95% CI: 71–94) post-CRT. The median follow-up was 39.1 months. Overall and progression-free survivals at 3 years were 67% (95% CI: 51–79) and 68% (95% CI: 51–79), respectively. Grade 3/4 toxicities were 20% during NACT (11% haematological, 9% non-haematological) and 52% during CRT (haematological: 41%, non-haematological: 22%). Conclusion: A good response rate is achieved by dose-dense weekly NACT with carboplatin and paclitaxel followed by radical CRT. This treatment regimen is feasible as evidenced by the acceptable toxicity of NACT and by the high compliance to radiotherapy (98%).
    British Journal of Cancer 05/2013; 108(12). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2013.230 · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose: Reported associations between risk of radiation-induced normal tissue injury and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TGFB1, encoding the pro-fibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1), remain controversial. To overcome publication bias, the international Radiogenomics Consortium collected and analysed individual patient level data from both published and unpublished studies. Materials and methods: TGFB1 SNP rs1800469 c.-1347T>C (previously known as C-509T) genotype, treatment-related data, and clinically-assessed fibrosis (measured at least 2years after therapy) were available in 2782 participants from 11 cohorts. All received adjuvant breast radiotherapy. Associations between late fibrosis or overall toxicity, reported by STAT (Standardised Total Average Toxicity) score, and rs1800469 genotype were assessed. Results: No statistically significant associations between either fibrosis or overall toxicity and rs1800469 genotype were observed with univariate or multivariate regression analysis. The multivariate odds ratio (OR), obtained from meta-analysis, for an increase in late fibrosis grade with each additional rare allele of rs1800469 was 0.98 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.85-1.11). This CI is sufficiently narrow to rule out any clinically relevant effect on toxicity risk in carriers vs. non-carriers with a high probability. Conclusion: This meta-analysis has not confirmed previous reports of association between fibrosis or overall toxicity and rs1800469 genotype in breast cancer patients. It has demonstrated successful collaboration within the Radiogenomics Consortium.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 11/2012; 105(3). DOI:10.1016/j.radonc.2012.10.017 · 4.36 Impact Factor
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    R P Symonds · K Lord · A J Mitchell · D Raghavan ·
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    ABSTRACT: Throughout the world there are problems recruiting ethnic minority patients into cancer clinical trials. A major barrier to trial entry may be distrust of research and the medical system. This may be compounded by the regulatory framework governing research with an emphasis on written consent, closed questions and consent documentation, as well as fiscal issues. The Leicester UK experience is that trial accrual is better if British South Asian patients are approached by a senior doctor rather than someone of perceived lesser hierarchical status and a greater partnership between the hospital and General Practitioner may increase trial participation of this particular ethnic minority. In Los Angeles, USA, trial recruitment was improved by a greater utilisation of Hispanic staff and a Spanish language-based education programme. Involvement of community leaders is essential. While adhering to national, legal and ethnical standards, information sheets and consent, it helps if forms can be tailored towards the local ethnic minority population. Written translations are often of limited value in the recruitment of patients with no or limited knowledge of English. In some cultural settings, tape-recorded verbal consent (following approval presentations) may be an acceptable substitute for written consent, and appropriate legislative changes should be considered to facilitate this option. Approaches should be tailored to specific minority populations, taking consideration of their unique characteristics and with input from their community leadership.
    British Journal of Cancer 09/2012; 107(7):1017-21. DOI:10.1038/bjc.2012.240 · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Response to radiotherapy varies between individuals both in terms of efficacy and adverse reactions. Finding genetic determinants of radiation response would allow the tailoring of the treatment, either by altering the radiation dose or by surgery. Despite a growing number of studies in radiogenomics, there are no well-replicated genetic association results. We carried out a candidate gene association study and replicated the result using three additional large cohorts, a total of 2036 women scored for adverse reactions to radiotherapy for breast cancer. Genetic variation near the tumour necrosis factor alpha gene is shown to affect several clinical endpoints including breast induration, telangiectasia and overall toxicity. In the combined analysis homozygosity for the rare allele increases overall toxicity (P=0.001) and chance of being in the upper quartile of risk with odds ratio of 2.46 (95% confidence interval 1.52-3.98). We have identified that alleles of the class III major histocompatibility complex region associate with overall radiotherapy toxicity in breast cancer patients by using internal replication through a staged design. This is the first well-replicated report of a genetic predictor for radiotherapy reactions.
    British Journal of Cancer 07/2012; 107(4):748-53. DOI:10.1038/bjc.2012.290 · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In patients receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer where the heart is within the radiation field, cutaneous telangiectasiae could be a marker of potential radiation-induced heart disease. We hypothesized that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes known to cause heritable telangiectasia-associated disorders could predispose to such late, normal tissue vascular damage. The relationship between cutaneous telangiectasia as a late normal tissue radiation injury phenotype in 633 breast cancer patients treated with radiotherapy was examined. Patients were clinically assessed for the presence of cutaneous telangiectasia and genotyped at nine SNPs in three candidate genes. Candidate SNPs were within the endoglin (ENG) and activin A receptor, type II-like 1 (ACVRL1) genes, mutations in which cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene associated with ataxia-telangiectasia. A total of 121 (19.1%) patients exhibited a degree of cutaneous telangiectasiae on clinical examination. Regression was used to examine the associations between the presence of telangiectasiae in patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery, controlling for the effects of boost and known brassiere size (n=388), and individual geno- or haplotypes. Inheritance of ACVRL1 SNPs marginally contributed to the risk of cutaneous telangiectasiae. Haplotypic analysis revealed a stronger association between inheritance of a ATM haplotype and the presence of cutaneous telangiectasiae, fibrosis and overall toxicity. No significant association was observed between telangiectasiae and the coinheritance of the candidate ENG SNPs. Genetic variation in the ATM gene influences reaction to radiotherapy through both vascular damage and increased fibrosis. The predisposing variation in the ATM gene will need to be better defined to optimize it as a predictive marker for assessing radiotherapy late effects.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 06/2012; 84(4):1031-6. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.02.018 · 4.26 Impact Factor
  • C C Henson · S E Davidson · A Lalji · R P Symonds · R Swindell · H J N Andreyev ·
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    ABSTRACT: Seventeen thousand patients receive treatment with radical pelvic radiotherapy annually in the UK. Up to 50% develop significant gastrointestinal symptoms. The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative has identified access to specialist medical care for those with complications after cancer as one of their four key needs. We aimed to determine the current practice of British gastroenterologists with regards to chronic gastrointestinal symptoms after pelvic radiotherapy. A questionnaire was developed and sent up to a maximum of five times to all UK consultant gastroenterologists. Eight hundred sixty-six gastroenterologists were approached and 165 (20%) responded. Sixty-one percent saw one to four patients annually with bowel symptoms after radiotherapy. Eighteen percent rate the current treatments as effective "often" or "most of the time". Forty-seven percent of gastroenterologists consider themselves "confident with basic cases", with 11% "confident in all cases". Fifty-nine percent thinks a gastroenterologist with a specialist interest should manage these patients. Although only 29% thinks a specific service is required for these patients, 34% rates the current service as inadequate. The ideal service was considered to be gastroenterology-led, multidisciplinary and regional. Low referral rates, poor evidence-base and poor funding are cited as reasons for the current patchy services. The low response rate contrasts with that from a parallel survey of clinical oncologists. This may reflect the opinion that radiation-induced bowel toxicity is not a significant issue, which may be because only a small proportion of patients are referred to gastroenterologists. The development of new, evidence-based gastroenterology-led services is considered the optimal way to meet the needs of these patients.
    Supportive Care in Cancer 11/2011; 20(9):2129-39. DOI:10.1007/s00520-011-1323-5 · 2.36 Impact Factor
  • R.P. Symonds · S.E. Davidson · S Chan · N.S. Reed · T McMahon · D Rai · S Harden · J Paul ·
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to determine the response rate and response duration of cervical cancer previously treated by cisplatin (with or without radiation) to a combination of docetaxel and gemcitabine. Secondary endpoints were assessment of toxicity and quality of life (QoL) of patients receiving the treatment. This was a multicentre phase II trial of 3 weekly docetaxel 75 mg/m(2) day 1 (reduced to 60 mg/m(2) after 32 cycles had been administered) and gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) (days 1 and 8). A two stage Gehan design was used initially. Twenty-nine patients recruited had disease outside the irradiated pelvis (Group 1), and 21 had disease confined to the irradiated pelvis (Group 2). The target response for the Gehan 2 design was 25% (Group 1) and 10% (Group 2). The overall response rate for Group 1 was 21.4% (95% CI 8.3-41.0%). Amongst those who had at least 3 cycles of chemotherapy the response rate was 27.3% (95% CI 10.7-50.2%). The median survival was 7.3 months (95% CI 5.4 to 9.2 months) with 39.3% (95% CI 21.7-56.5%) alive at 1 year. In Group 2 the overall response rate was 9.5% (95% CI 1.2%-30.4%). The response rate for those who had at least 3 cycles of chemotherapy was 12.5% (95% CI 1.6-38.4%). The median survival was 7.9 months (95% CI 2.2-13.6 months). Toxicity was mainly haematological with 51% developing grade 3 or 4 neutropenia after at least 1 cycle of chemotherapy. QoL showed a significant deterioration from baseline for physical and role function but there was an improvement in emotional function during treatment. Response rates and survival duration were similar to those reported following treatment with platinum based doublets. In view of the relatively poor response rates (no more than 36%) to conventional chemotherapy future developments should be a combination of chemotherapy and biological agents such as VEGFR inhibitors.
    Gynecologic Oncology 07/2011; 123(1):105-9. DOI:10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.06.001 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The search for clinical and biologic biomarkers associated with late radiotherapy toxicity is hindered by the use of multiple and different endpoints from a variety of scoring systems, hampering comparisons across studies and pooling of data. We propose a novel metric, the Standardized Total Average Toxicity (STAT) score, to try to overcome these difficulties. STAT scores were derived for 1010 patients from the Cambridge breast intensity-modulated radiotherapy trial and 493 women from the University Hospitals of Leicester. The sensitivity of the STAT score to detect differences between patient groups, stratified by factors known to influence late toxicity, was compared with that of individual endpoints. Analysis of residuals was used to quantify the effect of these covariates. In the Cambridge cohort, STAT scores detected differences (p < 0.00005) between patients attributable to breast volume, surgical specimen weight, dosimetry, acute toxicity, radiation boost to tumor bed, postoperative infection, and smoking (p < 0.0002), with no loss of sensitivity over individual toxicity endpoints. Diabetes (p = 0.017), poor postoperative surgical cosmesis (p = 0.0036), use of chemotherapy (p = 0.0054), and increasing age (p = 0.041) were also associated with increased STAT score. When the Cambridge and Leicester datasets were combined, STAT was associated with smoking status (p < 0.00005), diabetes (p = 0.041), chemotherapy (p = 0.0008), and radiotherapy boost (p = 0.0001). STAT was independent of the toxicity scale used and was able to deal with missing data. There were correlations between residuals of the STAT score obtained using different toxicity scales (r > 0.86, p < 0.00005 for both datasets). The STAT score may be used to facilitate the analysis of overall late radiation toxicity, from multiple trials or centers, in studies of possible genetic and nongenetic determinants of radiotherapy toxicity.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 05/2011; 82(3):1065-74. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.03.015 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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    C.C. Henson · H.J. Andreyev · R.P. Symonds · D Peel · R Swindell · S.E. Davidson ·
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    ABSTRACT: Seventeen thousand patients receive treatment with radical pelvic radiotherapy annually in the UK. It is common for patients to develop gastrointestinal symptoms after treatment. The aim of this study was to determine the current practice of clinical oncologists in the UK with respect to late-onset bowel dysfunction after pelvic radiotherapy, and to discuss the wider issues surrounding current and future service provision for this patient group. A questionnaire was developed to establish current practice. This was sent to the 314 clinical oncologists in the UK who treat pelvic malignancies up to a maximum of three times. One hundred and ninety (61%) responses were received. Most oncologists (76%) screen for gastrointestinal dysfunction after pelvic radiotherapy, usually through history taking rather than formal tools. Clinical oncologists view toxicity as a significant problem, with most estimating that up to 24% of patients at 1 year have bowel symptoms. Most oncologists refer less than 50% of their symptomatic patients, with most referring less than 10%. These referrals are 31% to a gastroenterologist, 23% to a gastrointestinal surgeon and 33% to both. Most (58%) do not have access to a gastroenterologist or a gastrointestinal surgeon with a specialist interest in their area. Sixty-five per cent of oncologists think a service is required specifically for patients with bowel dysfunction after pelvic radiotherapy, but half (52%) think that the current service in their area is inadequate. Clinical oncologists recognise late-onset bowel dysfunction after pelvic radiotherapy as a significant problem, but one that is linked to poor recognition of symptoms and an inadequate patchy service.
    Clinical Oncology 05/2011; 23(8):552-7. DOI:10.1016/j.clon.2011.04.002 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many genes have been associated with radiotherapy toxicity, but most have only been found in a single study. Using our cohort of 480 breast cancer patients, we provide replicated evidence that a polymorphism near the LIG3 gene is associated with acute skin toxicity following radiotherapy.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 05/2011; 99(2):231-4. DOI:10.1016/j.radonc.2011.05.007 · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • C. Henson · S.E. Davidson · R.P. Symonds · R. Swindell · H.J. Andreyev ·

    Clinical Oncology 04/2011; 23(3). DOI:10.1016/j.clon.2011.01.429 · 3.40 Impact Factor
  • C. Henson · H.J. Andreyev · R.P. Symonds · D. Peel · R. Swindell · S.E. Davidson ·

    Clinical Oncology 04/2011; 23(3). DOI:10.1016/j.clon.2011.01.362 · 3.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
612.88 Total Impact Points


  • 1999-2015
    • University of Leicester
      • Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine
      Leiscester, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • University of Nottingham
      • Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology
      Nottigham, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006-2007
    • University Hospitals Of Leicester NHS Trust
      Leiscester, England, United Kingdom
  • 1998
    • University of Glasgow
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1995
    • University of St Andrews
      Saint Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom