Dr Nick Plowman


Dr Nick Plowman is Senior Clinical Oncologist to St Bartholomew’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street, London. He also undertakes honorary duties at St Mark’s Hospital in Harrow, the country’s leading specialist hospital for colorectal and intestinal disease, and at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital, London.   His research ventures have led to changes in best stander care in the treatment of breast and prostate cancer.  He wrote his thesis on aspects of lung cancer.  Dr Plowman performs circa 70 medico legal reports a year and has 20 years experience in such reports for claimants and defence re:  liability and causation in adult and childhood cancer.

Dr Plowman graduated from Guy’s Hospital Medical School in 1974, having previously gained First Class Honours in both the Medical Sciences Tripos and the Natural Sciences Tripos at Cambridge University. He then completed his thesis at Cambridge University before joining St Bartholomew’s Hospital, where he has been Head of Department since 1989.

Nick Plowman is a Harley Street based expert on the use of radiation therapy and chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer, with a special interest in improving cure rates in cancer, whilst reducing the side effects of therapy.

Private treatment

Dr Plowman is available for consultation at his rooms in Harley Street. He is able to offer the latest techniques in the management and treatment of cancer, with a special interest in:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Central nervous system cancers
  • Paediatric cancers
  • Urological cancers
  • Cancers affecting the eye
  • Thyroid and endocrine cancer
  • Lung cancer

Expert in prostate cancer treatment

Dr Plowman is recognised as one of London’s leading experts in the treatment of prostate cancer, using the most up-to-date techniques:

External beam conformal radiotherapy

Modern computers and radiotherapy machines are used to mould the high dose of radiation to the tumour itself, minimising the risk of damage to the surrounding healthy organs and tissues and reducing any side effects to the bladder and bowel. This treatment is suitable for patients in whom the cancer has not progressed beyond the capsule covering the prostate gland.

Seed implantation brachytherapy

A number of small, radioactive seeds are put into the prostate gland. Over a period of a few months, they deliver a localised high dose of radiation. The surrounding tissues only receive a very low dose, lessening the risk of damage. The seeds have faded away by the end of the treatment time and this therapy offers a low side effect option for the treatment of early prostate cancer.

Hormone therapy

Lowering the amount of testosterone in the body with medicines can reduce the chance of an early prostate cancer returning or can shrink or slow the growth of an advanced tumour that has spread beyond the capsule of the prostate. Treatment is dependent on the precise grade and stage of the cancer and Dr Plowman is able to offer experienced advice.


Stereotactic radiotherapy

As well using the most modern standard radiotherapy machines, Dr Plowman is at the forefront of this new technology that uses a single targeted dose of radiation to treat tumours that were not otherwise killed by standard radiation therapy or were situated in dangerous positions. The treatment is delivered using specially designed linear accelerator machines:

Gamma Knife

This is a safe, accurate and reliable state-of-the-art machine that targets the affected cancer site only.  There is no open surgery and the patient can be discharged within 24 hours. Because of its accuracy, the Gamma Knife is used for the treatment of tumours near the brain stem and optic nerve.


This machine has a robotic arm that can deliver targeted high-dose radiation to tumours anywhere in the body, even parts that are moving such as the lung. Damage to the surrounding tissues is minimised and CyberKnife offers painless treatment for some tumours that were previously considered to be inoperable or untreatable.

Clinical interests

Dr Plowman’s clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, brain tumours, endocrine cancer, urological cancer; cancers in children & young persons (chemotherapy & radiotherapy) and the use of  stereotactic radiotherapy (CyberKnife And GammaKnife).

Dr Plowman’s special interests are directed towards improving cure rates in cancer, whilst reducing the side effects of therapy. He is an expert on both radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

In medical oncology, his main contribution has been the demonstration of the importance of adrenal sex steroid production in both breast and prostate cancer and he pioneered therapies aimed at interrupting these pathways in both diseases that have now become standard treatment across the world.

Research interests

Reducing the toxicity of drug/chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer treatment.

Key Published Papers

  • Overviews on breast and gastrointestinal cancer (modern management)
  • Optimal methods of treating prostate cancer
  • The complications of Cancer Management (Ed P.N.Plowman)
  • Stereotactically delivered Brain Radiation Therapy (Radiosurgery) and brain tumour therapies
  • Paediatric Oncology (Ed P.N.Plowman, CR Pinkerton)

Contact details


I specialise in…

  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Central nervous system cancers
  • Paediatric cancers
  • Urological cancers
  • Cancers affecting the eye
  • Thyroid and endocrine cancer
  • Medico-legal services

Professional details



Qualified in 1974 in United Kingdom

Registrations and licensing

General Medical Council (GMC)

Registration no.: 1735534
Date of registration: 18-Sep-1975


Consultant Clinical Oncologist
14 Harmont House
20 Harley Street

Tel: 020 7631 1632