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Brinkley, Diana Mary, 1921-2014 (nee Rawley, radiotherapist)



Diana Mary Brinkley studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital, graduating in 1945. She trained in the radiotherapy unit at Addenbrookes Hospital and became clinical research assistant to J S Mitchell, Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Cambridge (1957-1975). The iridium 192 teletherapy unit at Addenbrookes Hospital was the first teletherapy unit to use artificial radioactivity and clinically treat patients. With John Haybittle, principal physicist, Brinkley reported a study of over 700 women with breast cancer in the Lancet in 1959, showing that more radical local treatment did not improve survival, followed by a series of landmark trials that established the treatment of breast cancer. In 1966, Brinkley was appointed consultant in radiotherapy and oncology at King’s College Hospital, where she specialised in breast medicine, retiring in 1986.She was married twice, the second time to John Laws, consultant radiologist at King’s College Hospital and later president of the Royal College of Radiologist. In 1978, she helped establish Brinkley's restaurant in Chelsea with one of her two sons, John.