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Consultant Medical Oncologist, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Dr O'Brien was born in Northern Ireland and studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin. She trained at and now works as a consultant medical oncologist at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London and Sutton, Surrey, and until October 2003, also worked at the Kent Oncology Centre in Maidstone.
Dr O’Brien treats breast and lung cancer. She is currently Head of the Lung Unit, past chair of the SWL lung cancer tumour working group, chair of the EORTC lung cancer group and principal investigator of a number of European and international trials.
For lung and breast cancer she is interested in all aspects of treatment development through clinical trials. She is also interested in the supportive treatment of cancer patients including the use of acupuncture for breathlessness.
In her early career Dr O’Brien was developing a vaccine for lung cancer but there were no handles or leads on the immune system at the time – how things have changed and with it Dr O’Brien has embraced the progress and started a new round of trials. Dr O’Brien sees leadership as key to the delivery of a great service and in particular the development of young doctors through a research thesis is what is needed for the leaders and researchers of the future.