Co-chair and consumer appointments
- Following a competitive recruitment process drawn from the membership of CTRad, Charlotte Coles (Cambridge) and Maria Hawkins (Oxford) have been appointed as clinical co-chairs of WS3 and WS4 respectively. We are very grateful to John Staffurth (WS4) who has contributed and dedicated his time as WS4’s clinical co-chair for the past 5 years.
- We would also like to welcome two new consumer members to CTRad: Mrs Sonia Patton and Mrs Diana Robinson. Three consumer members, Alfred Oliver, Richard Stephens and Hilary Stobart, will be rotating off CTRad, and we are thankful for their contribution during their membership with CTRad.
- We are very pleased with the community’s interest and enthusiasm, and we look forward to continue moving the radiotherapy research agenda forward.
- A list of all workstream co-chairs and members is available on the CTRad website ctrad.ncri.org.uk/about-ctrad/leadership-and-members.
CTRad/ECMC Combinations Alliance Radiotherapy-Immunotherapy Workshop, March 2016
- This workshop, organised as a joint initiative between the ECMC/CRUK Combinations Alliance and CTRad, was led by Richard Adams (WS2) and Tim Illidge (ex-officio). The aim was to highlight drug development requirements of the radiotherapy and immunotherapy communities and select key proposals to take forward in discussions with companies for future development and funding. The 47 attendees included scientists and clinicians from the radiotherapy and immunology fields, in addition to several statisticians and trials methodologists, a CTRad consumer representative and members of the Combinations Alliance team.
- The morning session began with four talks from key opinion leaders in the radiotherapy and immunology fields to set the scene. Tim Illidge
outlined the scientific rationale and optimisation of combinations for immuno-oncology, and Kevin Harrington showcased the current portfolio of immuno-oncology trials. Martin Glennie went on to discuss immunoregulatory agents and Christian Ottensmeier described the translational endpoints in immune-radiotherapy.
- The afternoon session followed the CTRad Proposals Guidance Meeting format: two parallel groups reviewed and discussed academically-led proposals for a good variety of combination radiotherapyimmunotherapy clinical and preclinical studies. Investigators of thirteen proposals at different stages of development were invited to present followed by discussion with the group delegates.
- Hazel Jones then gave a short overview of the Combinations Alliance framework and process to take proposals forward; selected proposals will form the basis of discussion with the relevant companies.
- The meeting was well received and delegates thought that it was an important opportunity to identify gaps in our knowledge. As a fast-moving and exciting field, many attendees thought the meeting should go forward as an annual event.
- If you have ideas for drug-radiation combinations projects, or you would like to offer expertise and/or facilities, you can contact the Radiation-Drug Combinations Consortium (RaDCom) project manager Julie Stock (firstname.lastname@example.org), or find out more on the CTRad website ctrad.ncri.org.uk/research-support/radiation-drug-combinations-radcom.
Radiographers Think Tank meeting, March 2016
- CTRad has again worked with the Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) to organise a Radiographers Think Tank meeting. The day was attended mainly by radiographers involved in research, trials and development, as well as colleagues involved in the running of radiotherapy departments and those in consultant radiographer roles.
- Results of the latest research capacity audits showed an increase in the number of research radiographers, but there are still centres without any in these posts. The Council for Allied Health Professions Research (CAHPR) introduced how their Hubs can provide training, support and mentoring for radiographers engaging in research. Other presentations included the importance of working with consumers, and sharing of personal experience and successes. There were also various funding and training routes for radiographers to get involved in research.
- The day closed with the College Officers reaffirming that research is a key part of the College of Radiographers’ mission. The attendees were encouraged to continue to innovate and contribute to service development as the profession moves forward.
- There was plenty of time for networking. The meeting was well received, and attendees felt inspired with lots of information and messages to take away.
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Radiotherapy-Drug Combinations Meeting, February 2016
- Organised by Anthony Chalmers (Deputy Chair), Stephen Harrow (WS3) and in conjunction with the Lung CSG, this meeting brought together 25 clinical and medical oncologists, scientists, pharma representatives and trial methodologists.
- Over the past 18 months, a number of different proposals for early phase trials evaluating novel radiotherapy-drug combinations to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been presented at CTRad Proposals Guidance Meetings. To maximise the chances of making real progress in this area, a group of lung cancer clinical oncologists agreed to hold a dedicated two-day meeting. The main aim of the meeting was to develop a national strategy and build an early phase clinical trial platform upon which new combinations could be evaluated in a timely, efficient and effective manner.
- Initial discussions enabled the group to identify two distinct groups of patients who might benefit from this approach: patients with stage III NSCLC who are eligible for radical radiotherapy but not fit enough for concomitant chemotherapy, and patients with stage IV disease who are typically offered only palliative treatment options.
- Various presentations helped attendees consider different components of trial design. Louise Brown presented the molecularly stratified umbrella trial design of FOCUS4, while other presenters shared their experiences with early phase trials of radiotherapy-drug combinations, potential biomarkers and preclinical models.
- The meeting enabled broad agreement on the most suitable radiotherapy backbone, identification of a shortlist of novel agents, and general consensus on trial design and management options. This has provided a unified approach to this challenging patient population, and delegates have agreed the frameworks for two separate, multicentre studies (phase I and II).
- Delegates thought the meeting had been productive, thought-provoking and enjoyable, and commented specifically on the collaborative atmosphere. Many agreed that the proposed framework is a major achievement. A report is being drafted and will be available on the CTRad website soon.