Northern Institute for Cancer Research

Staff Profile

Dr Rachel Pearson

Honorary Prof of Orthopaedic Oncology


Present Appointment

  • CRUK/MRC funded Clinical Research Associate in Cancer Imaging

  • PhD Supervisors: Professor Herbie Newell, Dr Ross Maxwell and Professor Ruth Plummer

Previous Appointment

  • Specialist Registrar in Clinical Oncology, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne


  • MB ChB Aberdeen 2001

  • MRCP Edinburgh 2004

  • FRCR London 2011


  • NCRI Bladder and Renal CSG (Trainee member since 2014)


Research Interests

  • Novel PET and magnetic resonance imaging techniques to personalise treatments for oncology patients

  • Integration of biological tumour data from PET/MRI (e.g. proliferation, hypoxia, glucose metabolism) with anatomical information from routine CT/MRI for early response assessment and radiotherapy planning

Clinical Trials

  • F-18 Fluoro-L-Thymidine PET for assessment of treatment response in Exocrine Carcinoma of the Pancreas (Collaboration with Imperial College)

  • FLAIRE: Using 18F-FLT PET CT to Assess response on Imaging to Radiotherapy and guide future dose Escalation to resistant areas in the radiotherapy treatment of locally advanced oropharyngeal cancer: a pilot study

  • MARBLE: Exploring the use of Functional MRI to Assess early Response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in muscle invasive BLaddEr cancer (incorporating an 18 F- FLT PET sub study)

  • THRIFT: THyRoid Cancer IMRT Planning Using 18F FluoroThymidine PET CT: a pilot study

Grant Funding

  • MRC Confidence in Concept 2014-2015: Optimising FLT-PET CT scanning with thymidine phosphorylase


  • Organised a one-day workshop on Imaging in Stratified Cancer Treatment – Methodology, Pre-clinical Discovery and Clinical Trials at Newcastle University, November 2013, with Professor Herbie Newell and Dr Ross Maxwell.  Meeting was attended by 60 UK delegates, primarily young investigators.