NCRI’s Chairs’ Forum round-up: latest on our work to accelerate cancer research

The NCRI Chairs’ Forum held on 26 September, gathered over 30 leading experts across NCRI initiatives. During the full day meeting hosted by NCRI’s Clinical Research Director, Prof. Matt Seymour, delegates shared insights and ideas around our work to accelerate cancer research.  Here’s a round-up of the highlights.

Introducing our new CEO: Iain Frame kicked-off the meeting and emphasised the importance of collaboration for advancing cancer research. Read more about Iain’s aspirations for partnership working across cancer research in our 60 second interview. The Chair of our newly established Strategic Advisory Group, Prof. Tim Maughan revealed their approach to exploring potential future projects for NCRI to advance progress in cancer research. Group discussions were held to identify the important points for the Group to focus on. Expressions of interest can also be submitted by the research community for the Group to take forwards.

Catching-up with the latest updates from our initiative leads

Prof. Anthony Chalmers gave an update on our Radiotherapy Research initiative (CTRad) including publication of an article in the British Journal of Cancer that highlights the practice changing trials in radiotherapy. Find out more in CTRad’s latest update bulletin.

For our Clinical Studies Groups (CSGs), there was a big welcome to three new Chairs: Dr Dan Stark, Professor Galina Velikova and Dr Martin Forster. We also heard about the success of NCRI’s CSG Trainee Scheme –a scheme for junior cancer researchers to join the CSG for a two-year period. The next round of recruitment for the scheme will be announced via the NCRI newsletter, for which you can sign-up here.

Dr Karin Oien gave an update on our pathology initiative (CM-Path). So much has been achieved over the last two years of collaborative working, including the launch of the CM-Path Biobanking Sample Quality Improvement Tool and the Clinical Trials in Pathology Advisory Group (CT-PAG) which provides advice on pathology requirements in clinical trial design to researchers, being open to everyone not only CM-Path members.

NCRI’s Living With and Beyond Cancer (LWBC) research initiative: the priority setting partnership we undertook gathered and shortlisted the most important yet unanswered research questions. Currently we’re working with the cancer research community to translate these into high quality research. The big reveal of the 10 research priorities will take place at the NCRI Cancer Conference on Tuesday 6 November.

Discussing latest outcomes from some of our recent activities

Improving outcomes for older people with cancer: We’ve recently published a report from a workshop that we held with NHS England on exploring the research challenges around improving outcomes for older people with cancer. Read more about this here.

 Accelerating research in brain tumours:   In collaboration with Breast Cancer Now and Brain Tumour Research, we facilitated a workshop to develop clinical trials that can accelerate brain metastases research. The workshop saw some great ideas for trials to take forward and one has already been worked-up in to a funding application. Hear more about the workshop from the host, Michael Jenkinson in this video blog.

Acute Oncology and Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP): In partnership with NIHR, NCRI held a workshop in March bringing together more than 80 researchers and health care professionals to identify the research priorities for patients who present through an emergency setting and/or with a cancer of unknown primary. Working groups have now been established  and are currently working to take these areas forward.