CTRad Proposals and relaunch meeting, July 2018

  • We are delighted to announce that CTRad, now in its ninth year and entering its fourth phase of funding, has refreshed its structure to increase the breadth, depth and geographical spread of its membership.
  • The ‘new’ CTRad was relaunched on a beautiful summer’s day in London. At the meeting CTRad welcomed newly appointed members and new funding Partners Breast Cancer Now and Prostate Cancer UK. The main topic for discussion was delivery of CTRad’s Strategic Vision 2018-2021. Over 100 members and researchers from the community attended and participated in discussion of new clinical trials proposals in the afternoon.
  • In the morning, three of the four Workstreams (WS) held the first business meetings of their refreshed membership and discussed the updated aims and objectives of their WS. To welcome members new to CTRad, Anthony Chalmers (Chair) and David Sebag-Montefiore (Deputy Chair) hosted an informal briefing before the networking lunch. They explained CTRad’s structure and processes and engaged in a Q&A session aimed at illustrating how members can contribute.
  • Following the networking lunch, each of the WS co-chairs presented plans outlining how their WS will align their objectives with the CTRad Strategic Vision and the brief delivery plans. Meeting delegates then went into four groups to discuss the twelve RT clinical trials proposals that had been submitted for expert feedback. The final session provided an update on Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) trials and RTTQA and outlined opportunities for CTRad WS & general members.
  • Delegate feedback was largely positive: the sessions were felt to be very useful, particularly discussions about new trial concepts, study design and methodology, and learning about perspectives of other professional groups and patient representatives. Many delegates also found it interesting to find out about the research and trials in the pipeline and hear about the broad spectrum of ongoing research.
  • We were delighted to see members engaging and contributing to the multidisciplinary discussion. We also acknowledge that there is room for improvement in the proposals review and feedback processes, and will update and enhance the process in time for the next meeting.

CTRad ART-NET PBT clinical trials workshop and meeting, May 2018

  • CTRad and ART-NET organised two events in May to develop PBT research in the UK. The events were enthusiastically attended by those from the NHS PBT centres, researchers interested in related areas of research as well as consumer members and funders.
  • The first event was a half-day workshop at which around 40 researchers brought their PBT trial ideas (from very preliminary ideas to moderately-developed proposals) to be discussed with experienced clinical trialists, patient representatives, clinicians and physicists from the PBT centres and experts from CTRad. Ten proposals submitted from across UK centres were discussed and one has since gone forward for funding application.
  • The next day was a one-day meeting with plenary sessions to help around 80 delegates learn about the landscape of PBT research internationally and in the UK. There was also discussion regarding development of PBT trials including patient involvement, methodology, quality assurance and funding. In particular, Cai Grau from Aarhus shared PBT clinical trials experience from a Danish perspective.
  • Many delegates found the meeting very informative and became aware of possible challenges facing PBT clinical trials in the UK that need addressing. The CTRad PBT clinical trials steering group will be prioritising which studies to develop and plan how to encourage collaboration and accelerate development of the studies.

CTRad and BNMS Clinical Trials in Molecular Radiotherapy meeting, June 2018

  • A well-attended one-day meeting on clinical trials in molecular radiotherapy (MRT) was organised in conjunction with the British Nuclear Medicine Society (BNMS) in London. It was attended by 80 delegates, around half of which were medical physicists, other attendees include clinicians, basic scientists, AHPs, consumers and funder representative.
  • The aim of the meeting is to review the challenges and opportunities for clinical trials in MRT following CTRad’s 2016 report, particularly focusing on investigator-led trials that incorporate imaging and dosimetry, and to discuss how the community can move forward.
  • The talks highlighted how MRT, a small community, is starting to be integrated into mainstream trials, but there needs to be more engagement between nuclear medicine, oncology, physics and the clinical studies groups to develop the trial protocols, as well as working closer with radiopharmaceutical companies to look at further collaboration opportunities.
  • A report is being prepared. Attendees felt it was a busy but constructive meeting with interesting discussions, it highlighted some issues that will need further discussion and another meeting is being considered for 2019.

New radiotherapy research funding scheme

  • We are delighted to announce that Cancer Research UK is creating a new funding scheme to support radiotherapy research in the UK. Details of the scheme are currently in development and are expected to be announced in September 2018. CTRad will work with radiotherapy centres and CRUK to ensure that the research community makes the most of this exciting opportunity.

Submit your radiotherapy study ideas for the November Proposals meeting

  • CTRad has so far reviewed 220 proposals in total and 60 of these have been funded through nationally competitive funding streams or local funding sources. To receive expert input before submitting your trial funding application, submit your proposal ideas by 4pm on Tuesday 9 October 2018 in order to present at one of the discussion groups on 23 November 2018 in Birmingham. Information on the submission process can be found here: bit.ly/ctrad_proposals

Welcome to our new consumer members

  • CTRad welcomes three newly appointed consumer members: Tim Humphrey (WS 1), Tim Ward (WS 2) and Debbie Keatley (WS 3). They are joining Sonia Patton (WS 4) who has been reappointed as part of CTRad’s group of consumers which provides advice to help investigators develop their radiotherapy research ideas, leading to better treatments for cancer patients, an ambition we all share.

Forthcoming activities

  • Clinical Trials Workshop, 1 Oct 2018: The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and CTRad will be jointly organising another Clinical Trials workshop in London in October. The workshop is aimed at early career radiotherapy researchers and will cover areas relating to clinical trial design, funding and setup and the roles and responsibilities of chief investigators. More details about the workshop can be found on the RCR website.
  • NCRI Cancer Conference, 4-6 Nov 2018: The NCRI Cancer Conference is an excellent opportunity for the radiotherapy community to network and showcase their work at a leading international cancer meeting in the UK. Online registration is open until 21 October, see the Conference website for more details conference.ncri.org.uk.