CTRad’s Mission Statement and Strategic Vision 2018-2021

  • In light of progress made in the past three years, CTRad’s Executive Group put together a mission statement to guide the group’s direction of travel, and devised a five-point strategic vision that builds on success to date and addresses ongoing challenges.
  • The new strategic vision is a natural evolution of its original aims to fit with the needs of the community, which now places an increasing emphasis on high impact, project-based, collaborative research initiatives. Examples of these collaborative efforts are highlighted in two of the workshops reported in this edition of the news bulletin.
  • CTRad looks forward to continuing the momentum achieved and progress in changing the radiotherapy research landscape with help from the community and stakeholders, as well as linking up with researchers in related fields of research.
  • You can read more about each of the five strategic areas in the two-page brief which can be downloaded from the CTRad website: ctrad.ncri.org.uk

Challenges and Opportunities in Large Scale Radiotherapy Data Collection and Analysis meeting, May 2017

  • Organised by David Cutter, Maria Hawkins and Phil Evans (all WS4), the meeting was well attended by 60 experts from a variety of radiotherapy (RT) centres and disciplines including medical physics, clinical oncology, treatment radiography, epidemiology, statistics, patient involvement, information technology and public health, to discuss principles and methodologies for realising the potential of routinely collected RT data in the UK, with the view to answer research questions and achieve patient benefit.
  • The agenda covered topics on the principles of and technology for data exchange, possible types of research study utilising RT data, with examples given of the types of research study (ranging from classical epidemiology to artificial intelligence and deep learning) that could be performed using radiotherapy data.
  • The afternoon saw delegates participating in one of three breakout groups to hear about study ideas that would require the combination of RT data with more detailed clinical information to answer research questions, or studies that could utilise combination of raw imaging data and routinely collected data only.
  • Delegates also discussed complementary strategic approaches to the utilisation of multi-centre radiotherapy data in research in the UK.
  • One of the next steps would be to identify and support studies that could utilise RT data to answer suitable research and application questions; the meeting organisers are hoping to submit a meeting summary as an editorial for publication shortly to solidify the specific outputs.
  • There is also an action to strengthen links with Public Health England and the Royal College of Radiologists to utilise the Radiotherapy Dataset to audit the management of treatment gaps across England and Wales.
  • A short report of the workshop is available for download from the CTRad website here: ctrad.ncri.org.uk/resources/reports-and-tumour-site-reviews

Glioblastoma DNA damage response inhibitors workshop, March 2017

  • Anthony Chalmers (Chair) organised this workshop to explore the feasibility of developing a multiarm, multi-stage clinical trial platform through which a panel of DNA damage response (DDR) inhibitors could be evaluated in combination with RT in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM), and to consider aspects of trial design including the study population, statistical considerations, dose setting and scheduling, biomarker evaluation, logistical components and potential sources of funding. The 42 multidisciplinary attendees comprised clinical and medical oncologists, statisticians, CTU personnel, basic scientists, nurse specialists,
    therapy radiographers, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists, surgeons, consumers, a pharmacist, bioinformaticians and representatives from charities and industry, also with involvement from the Brain Clinical Studies Group.
  • Various speakers set the scene for the lively and robust discussion about the opportunities and potential pitfalls of a proposed platform design, and at the end of the session there was strong support for using a time-to-event continual reassessment method (TITE-CRM) design to maximise efficiency and ensure that late emerging toxicity could be incorporated into dose escalation decisions. Other discussion included mechanistic and biomarker considerations, and additional study arms and workstreams.
  • At the end of this two-day meeting, delegates largely agreed on a consensus on how to proceed, including the need for additional preclinical data.
  • It was suggested that there is potential to setup a preclinical consortium to provide additional preclinical data that would support and enhance the quality of a subsequent study. More detailed discussion with pharma and potential routes of funding will also need to be further explored.

CTRad Proposals Guidance Meeting, June 2017

  • CTRad hosted its 14th proposals guidance meeting where 9 proposals were presented and discussed. The meeting began with an invited presentation from Fiona Gilbert who provided an overview of the NCRI Imaging Advisory Group and potential routes to link up with CTRad. After the proposals breakout sessions, Deirdre Lynskey and Gerry Hanna (WS3) gave an update on the RT trials setup times project which has completed its general survey stage, and the next step will be to investiage details of selected trials. Anthony Chalmers (Chair) and David Sebag-Montefiore (Deputy Chair) then presented anonymised results of the ‘Centres of Excellece in Radiation Oncology’ work which is still on-going. Following the networking lunch, CTRad members had a productive afternoon of Workstream business meetings.
  • The next proposals guidance meeting will be held on 8 November 2017 in Liverpool following the close of the NCRI Conference, and the call for proposals deadline will be in September. The exact date will be published on the CTRad website, please stay tuned.