Christopher Peters went to medical school in Leeds and stayed there to complete his junior surgical training. After a fellow job in Kings College London he moved to Cambridge to carry out a PhD with Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald. During his PhD he developed a four gene signature to predict outcome in oesophageal adenocarcinoma which was validated in 371 independent cases. With Rebecca he also set up the OCCAMS collaboration which went on to be selected to run the International Cancer Genome Consortium's Whole Genome sequencing project in oesophageal adenocarcinoma. OCCAMS has ongoing CRUK funding and is now recruiting in excess of 500 patients per year from 11 centres.
After returning to London to complete his higher surgical training he was appointed as a Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Upper GI surgeon at Imperial College London with a specialist interest in oesophageal and gastric cancer. His academic interest is molecular and clinical predictors of outcome in Oesophageal adenocarcinoma, in particular developing ways of combining the two to improve stratification of patients, thereby improving management strategies.
There is a growing understanding of the molecular basis of cancer and its influence on the progression of disease, response to treatment and prognosis. However, there is a marked disconnect between the biomarker studies that are generating these novel predictors and the clinical world where patients are treated, and very few biomarkers have successfully transitioned to the point of widespread use.
His programme aims to take potential biomarkers, validate them robustly, and then incorporate them into frameworks that allows them to influence clinical management in ways that can be proven to improve outcomes. In addition to leveraging the in-house biomarker and diagnostics expertise present at Imperial College he has led the formation of the Predicting Outcomes in Esophageal Malignancy (POEM) Biomarkers consortium which is composed of centres across the UK and Europe (St Marys, UCL, Belfast, Dublin and Rotterdam at present). This group are all working towards the development of clinically applicable biomarkers for use at multiple points in the patient's pathway.
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