Consultant Clinical Oncologist
0161 918 7197
0161 446 3265
MA, MB BS, MRCP, FRCR, PhD
Adult and paediatric neuro-oncology; stereotactic radiotherapy; proton therapy
Dr Whitfield is one of five clinical oncologists treating adults with Central Nervous System (CNS), or brain and spinal, tumours, and one of three clinical oncologists treating children with CNS tumours. She chairs the CNS/base of skull Clinical Workstream for proton therapy at The Christie which is preparing for the national proton therapy service which is due to start in early 2018 at The Christie and University College London.
At Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust Dr Whitfield attends the neurosciences multidisciplinary meeting and the skull base multidisciplinary meeting; she also has a new patient neuro-oncology (brain and spinal tumour) clinic and a stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) clinic; Dr Whitfield also runs a joint clinic with neurosurgical colleagues for patients with Vestibular Schwannomas.
At the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Dr Whitfield attends the paediatric oncology multidisciplinary meeting and the paediatric neuro-radiology meeting.
At a national level, Dr Whitfield is a member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Brain Clinical Studies Group and of NHS England Proton Overseas Programme Clinical Reference Panel for adult cases. Dr Whitfield is also a member of the NCRI Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group (CTRad), Workstream 4, and is the Royal College of Radiologists lead for CNS Site Orientated e-Network.
Dr Whitfield graduated from St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry in the University of London in 1998 and was proxime accessit to the University of London gold medal. Her postgraduate training was initially in London (two years), and then in East Anglia, primarily at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, but also at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Ipswich Hospital and Essex County Hospital, Colchester. Dr Whitfield started as a Specialist Registrar in Clinical Oncology in February 2002, and gained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR) in 2005, after which she undertook a PhD in Manchester in Image Guided Radiotherapy (2006-2010) before completing her clinical training in Cambridge and taking up a consultant appointment at The Christie in August 2011.
At The Christie, Dr Whitfield treats Central Nervous System (brain and spinal) tumours in adults and children. She is jointly funded by the NHS for clinical commitments and by the Christie Charitable Funds Board for research. Part of her clinical work is at Salford Royal Hospital, the UK's largest neurosurgical centre. The Christie at Salford satellite radiotherapy centre opened in 2011 with facilities for stereotactic radiotherapy. Dr Whitfield is the lead clinician for intracranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and has set up new SRS services, which treated the first patient with brain metastases in December 2011, followed since then by vestibular schwannomas and meningiomas. She is currently developing the SRS service for arterio-venous malformations. Dr Whitfield has also led the development of VMAT (a form of IMRT) for certain WHO grade III and IV gliomas.
Dr Whitfield is part of the Radiotherapy Related Research Group at The Christie. Her research in CNS tumours is focused on outcomes of treatment, exploiting advanced radiotherapy techniques including stereotactic surgery and Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT), research in preparation for proton therapy and providing radiotherapy expertise for early phase studies and clinical trials.
Dr Whitfield is chief investigator for a phase 2 trial of Hippocampal Sparing versus Conventional Whole Brain Radiotherapy after surgical resection or radiosurgery inpatients with 1-4 brain metastases for which she was awarded a grant from Cancer Research UK and the Brain Tumour charity. This is a UK multicentre study expected to open in early 2015 in up to 13 UK centres. At the Christie, Dr Whitfield leads work for the CNS tumour group on recording treatment outcomes in collaboration with the Christie Clinical Outcomes Unit and colleagues at University College London Hospital.