Dr Thomas Fox is a Haematology Registrar and Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Fellow at University College London. He joined the NCRI Haematological Oncology Group as a trainee in 2018.
Why did you get involved with the NCRI Group as a trainee?
I got involved with the NCRI Haematological Oncology Group because I had a lot of exposure to patients on clinical trials in my haematology training but felt that we didn’t get much training in how the clinical trials are set up and run. I didn’t have an insight into how things worked on a national level.
The NCRI Haematological Oncology Group allowed me to learn more about the process and the national portfolio of clinical trials.
How has it benefitted your career?
The NCRI has benefitted my career enormously. It has given me exposure to how large clinical trials are set up and the process of designing a large phase III clinical trial. This experience has been really fantastic and something that was previously missing from my training.
I have also met many other people in the field who are involved in large national trials in the UK. I have seen how they work and been mentored by them through my involvement with the NCRI Haematological Oncology Group.
What is the best thing you have been involved in as part of the NCRI Group?
The best thing I have been involved in was a small project with the other trainee on the group. We looked at the cost savings made from clinical trials from pharmaceutical companies supplying an investigational drug which meant that the NHS did have to pay for a similar drug for a patient with a particular disorder.
We found that clinical trials saved many millions of pounds, which shows that they are good for patients because they get access to the latest treatments and are also beneficial for the NHS. There is a strong argument that the UK could plough the money saved back into clinical trials infrastructure.
This report was published in The Lancet and has been a really great thing to be involved in. Hopefully, it will be useful for the clinical trials community.
What would be your advice to other early career researchers?
My advice to early-career researchers would be to get involved! The NCRI is a fantastic organisation, they have been super friendly and supportive. There are tonnes of expertise there that’s just waiting to be tapped into.
I’d say get involved, I can’t recommend it highly enough!