CTRad’s published its priorities in July 2022 to address challenges faced in radiotherapy research and improve outcomes for patients.

NCRI CTRad strategic priorities 2022-2025

Translating novel discoveries to and from the clinic

Our aim will be to drive the translation of radiotherapy research from bench to bedside, working with other groups to support the translational pipeline to bring novel discoveries into the clinic to test their efficacy. Learning, data and samples from the clinic will be fed back rapidly to enable new scientific discoveries.


  1. Develop and publish a translational research roadmap
  2. Deliver a workshop to promote collaboration between translational scientists and early clinical researchers
  3. Identify a network of UK centres with interest and capability to deliver early phase drug-radiotherapy clinical trials and scope opportunities for radiotherapy combination studies, including ones which could be in collaboration with industry partners
  4. Facilitate the development of early phase drug-radiotherapy combination studies

Evaluating and optimal implementation of new radiotherapy technologies

Our aim will be to pioneer the next generation of radiotherapy developments by evaluating robustly the benefit of new radiotherapy technologies and techniques and maximising the utilisation of evidence-based, cutting-edge radiotherapy techniques in clinical practice across the UK. We will engage with industry and relevant groups to enable the translational and evaluation pipeline for new radiotherapy technologies into the clinic across the UK.


  1. Produce and publish a roadmap/position paper on the barriers and challenges in molecular radiotherapy research with proposed solutions and opportunities
  2. Organise a meeting with funders and industry to develop a joint understanding of the UK molecular radiotherapy funding landscape, to inform and support collaborative trial development and delivery mechanisms
  3. Organise a workshop or sandpit to explore new ideas for molecular radiotherapy trials to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration
  4. Develop and seek funding for two academic UK molecular radiotherapy trials
  5. Support a workshop to scope ideas for magnetic resonance-guided radiotherapy research and to develop an idea for a collaborative magnetic resonance-guided radiotherapy trial proposal
  6. Arrange a workshop to promote collaboration between multidisciplinary researchers to develop and drive research in MRI-guided and molecular radiotherapy or other emerging radiotherapy technologies

Generating evidence to change practice

Our aim will be to lead and coordinate the development of a portfolio of world-leading radiotherapy clinical trials which are highly fundable, translationally rich and quality assured (linking with RTTQA). We will continue to build on our successful NCRI CTRad proposal guidance meetings to support the development and funding of UK radiotherapy clinical trial protocols and our established leadership in proton beam therapy trials to generate the evidence base to inform future clinical practice across the UK and internationally, and we will facilitate mentorship to new proposals to maximise funding applications and success of applications.


  1. Produce publication(s) showing the impact of NCRI CTRad supported trials on UK radiotherapy practice
  2. Organise a methodological workshop to consider alternative methodologies to randomised controlled trials and early trial methodologies, identify appropriate settings for alternative methods and develop practical examples of alternative designs (in collaboration with strategic area 1)
  3. Organise a workshop to support early career researchers in radiotherapy-related professional groups to lead future studies (in collaboration with NCRI Early Career Researcher Forum and strategic area 1)
  4. Publish a paper on health economics in radiotherapy trials discussing the need to integrate economic evaluation into trials to demonstrate cost-effectiveness and benefits

Real-world patient experience and evidence

Consumer involvement will remain at the core of NCRI CTRad’s work. It will be further developed in this strategic priority area, working with the NCRI Consumer Forum and NCRI Living with and Beyond Cancer Group, and be led by NCRI Consumers themselves. We aim to develop qualitative and supportive care studies in radiotherapy to reduce toxicity and improve survivorship for our patients. We aim to maximise the opportunities for outputs from collecting large-scale clinical and radiotherapy data. Research in this strategic priority area will be co-produced with consumers and will have patient preferences and priorities at its core.


  1. Convene a workshop to explore the potential for patient-guided radiotherapy, and write a position paper on the best practice for patient-guided radiotherapy and patient-reported outcome measures in radiotherapy trials
  2. Scope the evidence gaps in the use of palliative radiotherapy and the opportunities for palliative radiotherapy trials. Support a workshop for discussing a proposal for a palliative radiotherapy trial
  3. Publish a paper from the COVID RT project to maximise outputs from the real-world data collected on radiotherapy patients and radiotherapy services during the Covid-19 pandemic
  4. Undertake a workshop with appropriate stakeholders to discuss real-world data in radiotherapy research and produce a position paper on best practice

NCRI CTRad will initially focus on the first task in priorities 1-4, forming time-limited working groups to address these tasks. When one working group finishes, capacity will be transferred to address the next task in this priority area. To ensure you are made aware of opportunities to join the working groups, join the NCRI Radiotherapy Network.

Join the NCRI Radiotherapy Network