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Dr Ellen Copson

Dr Ellen Copson

Consultant Medical Oncologist
BSc, MBBS, MRCP, PhD, CCT (Medical Oncology)

Practising at

Spire Southampton Hospital

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Treatment information

Some of the principal treatments carried out by Dr Ellen Copson at Spire include:

Other treatments

Breast Cancer

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Professional profile

I am a consultant medical oncologist specialising in the medical treatment of breast cancer. I graduated in medicine with honours from the University of London in 1996 having also gained a first class Bachelor of Science degree in immunology. I went on to train in Medical Oncology firstly at St. George’s Hospital, London and then Southampton General Hospital and I completed my specialist training in 2008, having also achieved a PhD researching inherited breast cancer in 2007. In 2009 I took up a position as a full-time NHS medical oncology consultant specializing in the medical treatment of breast cancer at Salisbury Foundation NHS Trust and University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust. I returned to academic medicine in 2012 and now combine my post as Associate Professor at the University of Southampton with my clinical practice at UHS and the Spire Southampton.

I specialise in the treatment of early and advanced breast cancer using chemotherapies, hormonal therapies and targeted drugs. I am very active in clinical research and have extensive experience in enrolling and supervising patients on clinical trials. I work closely with my colleagues in breast surgery, radiology, pathology and palliative care to ensure that every patient receives the optimum treatment for their individual situation.

In addition to my clinical work I have a large research and educational portfolio in my role as Associate Professor at the University of Soutmathampton. I am particularly interested in host factors which influence the response to systemic treatments for early breast cancer. I am a key member of the team currently analyzing data from a large national cohort study (the Prospective study of Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary breast cancer, POSH study and is currently working with the Southampton Biomedical Research Centre- Nutrition team to investigate the impact of body composition on early breast cancer. I also act as clinical advisor for a number of pre-clinical studies investigating the biology of breast cancer, and for several early breast cancer survivorship studies. I am principle investigator for a number of clinical trials in early and advanced breast cancer and a member of the NCRI Breast Cancer Clinical Studies Group.

I am the Cancer Lead for the Wessex Genomic Medicine Centre where I am responsible for delivering the Wessex cancer arm of the national 100,000 Genomes Project. I am also chair of the National Oncogenetics Training working party and sit on a number of national and regional committees which are examining the introduction of genomic and molecular testing of tumours into routine cancer care.

In addition I have a strong interest in the training of oncologists. I have acted as regional medical oncology programme director since 2013 and sit on both the national medical oncology speciality advisory committee and the national speciality examination board. I am currently responsible for the training of 10 medical oncology trainees in the Wessex region.


Clinical Interests

Breast cancer


Private contact details

Private secretary Marlene Benham
Private secretary fax 023 8076 4358
Private secretary email marlene.benham@spirehealthcare.com

Media Coverage

Obesity and the outcome of young breast cancer patients in the UK: the POSH study. Copson ER et al. Ann Oncol. 2015 Jan;26(1):101-12

Ethnicity and outcome of young breast cancer patients in the United Kingdom: the POSH study. Copson et al. Br J Cancer. 2014; 110 (1): 230-241.

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Qualification and professional memberships

MB BS / University of London / 1996
Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
MBBS is a degree given to physicians at the basis of their training.


Professional memberships

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
Member of the Association of Cancer Physicians


Professional leadership

Chair of the National Oncogenetics Training Working Party
Cancer Lead of the Wessex Genomics Medicine Centre and Breast Cancer Research
Member of the National Cancer Research Institute Breast Cancer Clinical Studies Group
Member of the Royal College of Physicians Specialty Advisory Committee for Medical Oncology
Member of the Royal College of Physicians Genomics in Medicine Advisory Board
Royal College of Physicians Specialty Examination Board

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Current NHS posts

Associate Professor in Medical Oncology, University Hospital Southampton Foundation NHS Trust 

Honorary Medical Oncolgy Consultant, Southampton Oncology Centre, University Hospital Southampton Foundation NHS Trust 

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Personal Profile

I enjoy walking my husky dog on the beach with my two daughters and husband.

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Financial Interests

Holds less than 0.1% of the shares in Spire Healthcare Group Plc

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