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Jessica Whitburn

CRTF, Botnar Centre for Musculoskeletal Research

Research: The effects of metformin in prostate cancer progression and bone metastases

Jessica Whitburn graduated from University College London with a medical degree and BSc in Immunology and Cell Pathology. She was an NIHR academic clinical research fellow in Urology, and alongside her DPhil has an honorary clinical contract at Oxford University Hospitals.

What’s your current research and how could it impact patients?

My research aim is to elucidate the metabolic changes that occur in prostate cancer when it spreads to bone, with the hope of identifying novel therapeutic targets. Prostate cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed male cancer in the Western world, and the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in men. While treatment of localised disease is very effective, metastatic disease (typically to bone) remains incurable.

What does being involved in cancer research mean to you?

1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Whilst many of them will be cured, unfortunately treatment options for some are still palliative. Being involved in cancer research will hopefully enable me to help improve the outcome for these patients.

And finally, what do you do outside of your studies?

I have a 1.5 year old son who loves exploring, so we spend a lot of our free time travelling.