Professor Ian Smith

Consultant Medical Oncologist, Professor of Cancer Medicine, MD FRCP FRCPE

Specialism: Breast

Available at: Cavendish Square, Chelsea, Sutton

Special interests:

  • all aspects of medical treatment of breast cancer
  • neoadjuvant therapies
  • adjuvant therapies
  • treatment of advanced and metastatic disease
  • novel treatments and targeted therapies


Professor Ian Smith has a private practice at The Royal Marsden. He is Professor of Cancer Medicine at The Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research. His initial medical training was in Edinburgh and then he came to The Royal Marsden for specialist training in cancer medicine. He also spent some time in Boston at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard. Over the years his principal clinical research interests have been in breast cancer, lung cancer and new drug development. He was involved in the early clinical development of several anti-cancer drugs that have subsequently proved effective in the clinic, including carboplatin and letrozole.

In the last decade, he has become increasingly involved in neoadjuvant (preoperative) therapies as a research approach towards individualised treatments for breast cancer. He is currently Chief Investigator or UK Principal Investigator for several international multicentre breast cancer trials involving in particular targeted therapies and aromatase inhibitors. He publishes and lectures extensively. He was awarded the Susan G Komen for the Cure Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction at the 2009 San Antonio International Breast Cancer Conference.

Professor Smith was recently the first Chairman of the UK Breast Trials Intergroup and Chairman of the British Breast Group. He was the Scientific Chairman of the Breast Section of 2012 ESMO, and he has also chaired several national professional bodies including the Association of Cancer Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians Specialist Advisory Committee for Medical Oncology and the NCRI Lung Cancer Clinical Studies Group. He is Co–chairman of the ASCO Clinical Guidelines Group for Chemotherapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer.

In 2018, Professor Smith won the William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award for his lifelong work in breast cancer oncology. The award is widely regarded as the highest international honour in this field. 

Clinical units