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Suzzane Turner, PhD  

Presentation: Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a cancer caused by breast implants?

The first case of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) associated with breast implants was reported in 1997 but did not gain any significant attention until recent years whereby a significant increase in reported cases has been observed in some circumstances leading to death. However, the debate as to the true instigator of this cancer and how it develops is ongoing with little substantial scientific data having been reported so far. In this talk, Suzanne Turner will describe in general why cancer develops, what cancer is and how we can manage it before applying these dogma to BIA-ALCL and reviewing current theories as to its pathogenesis and aetiology. 


Suzanne obtained her PhD from the world-renowned Paterson Institute for Cancer Research and the Christie Hospital in Manchester where she examined the potential toxic side-effects of chemoprotective gene therapy. This work was a collaborative effort with what was at that time the AstraZeneca Central Toxicology Labs at Alderley Edge. Following this training period Suzanne moved to a research post at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge where under the guidance of Dr Denis Alexander she began to investigate mechanisms of lymphomagenesis, a subject that she has pursued to become a world-expert in paediatric lymphomas, specifically Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). For the past 15 years Suzanne has been leading an academic research group at the University of Cambridge within the Department of Pathology and based at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital campus in Cambridge. It is here that Suzanne holds a Readership (Professor) and whilst conducting academic research of an international standard also teaches aspects of the medical, veterinary and natural science tripos.

In 2007, Suzanne was awarded the prestigious Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research (LLR; now Blood Cancer UK) Bennett Fellowship and in 2012 a further 5-year Bloodwise (now Blood Cancer UK) fellowship. Amongst her achievements are the inception and establishment of the European Research Initiative on ALCL, a study group that brings together scientists from across Europe to foster collaboration and advancement in this important area of health research. Suzanne is also the lead of ‘ALKATRAS’, a European Union Marie Curie Innovative Training Network of 14 research groups in 7 EU countries, non-clinical chair of the European Inter-Group for Collaboration into Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (EICNHL), co-chair of the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Cambridge Centre Paediatric Programme and biological lead for the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) paediatric lymphoma Clinical Study Group (CSG). Amongst her other interests Suzanne is the scientific advisor to the Alex Hulme Foundation and Francesca Richardson Trust. She is also a member of both the American and British Associations for Cancer Research (BACR/AACR), the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) and the International Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). In 2019, Suzanne also became an affiliated principal investigator at the Central European Institute for Technology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.


Disclosure of conflicts of interest: Suzanne receives research funding from Allergan

Twitter: @sdt36Suzanne

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