NCRI Summer meeting – CTRad presentation, June
- Anthony Chalmers (Chair) presented at the NCRI Partners’ Summer Meeting in June with a summary of CTRad’s achievements to date and proposals for how CTRad might be funded in the future. David Sebag-Montefiore (Deputy Chair) was also in attendance to answer questions.
- The meeting was attended by around 30 people including NCRI Partners and Trustees. There were numerous expressions of admiration at what CTRad has achieved and unanimous support for CTRad’s continued funding. As some of the funding partners will be changing, CTRad is now in the process of negotiating a new funding model for 2018 and beyond.
UK NSCLC Radiotherapy-Drug Combinations Consortium
- Following from the Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Radiotherapy-Drug Combinations meeting in February, expressions of interest from researchers and Clinical Trials Units were invited to take forward the two early phase clinical trial concepts that were developed at the meeting. The selection committee was greatly encouraged by the enthusiastic response of the NSCLC research community, and were impressed by the strong track records of the CTUs that expressed interested in hosting the studies.
- Subsequently, two short life Working Parties, supported by the Lung CSG and CTRad, have been setup to develop the study concepts:
- The Phase I RT-DDRi combination study in stage III NSCLC will be coordinated by the Leeds Clinical Trials Research Unit
- The Phase II RT-immunomodulator combination study for stage IV NSCLC will be coordinated by the Institute of Cancer Research Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit.
- The selection committee also recommended that some of the study Investigators should seek mentorship from local senior clinician scientists to support them in their exciting but challenging positions, and to further develop the next generation of clinical researchers.
- The Working Parties are now busy organising their first workshops to further develop the study concept, form the trial management groups and discuss funding opportunities.
Preclinical Radiotherapy Capability Mapping intern
- We are excited to welcome Basma Elbakary who joined CTRad and RaDCom as an intern to map the preclinical radiotherapy expertise and capabilities across the UK. The outputs of this project will help us understand the UK’s radiotherapy and radiolobiology labs’ expertise and capabilities for preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies. The aim is to promote opportunities for these labs to collaborate with other groups and with industry, and ultimately this work will support a new generation of radiotherapy-drug combinations clinical trials.
- Basma started in September and will be working for 12 weeks. She is now putting together a survey to find out more about researchers’ expertise and we hope you will be willing to support her work and respond to her survey if she gets in touch. The NCRI newsletter caught up with her for a 60-second interview; you can read it here: bit.ly/NCRI_Basma60secInt
Clinical Trials workshop, October
- CTRad and the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) delivered another successful workshop, organised by Ann Henry and Emma Hall (both WS3) at the RCR’s venue in London. Attendees included clinical oncology trainees, early career consultants, radiotherapy physicists, trial managers and other professionals.
- Ann Henry set the scene by providing a glimpse of successful radiotherapy trials currently in the portfolio and how these have changed practice. Sonia Patton (WS3 Consumer member) outlined the Consumers’ willingness and desire to help with improving the quality of trials, and ways to engage with Consumers at an early stage in study idea development. There were also presentations from CRUK and NIHR regarding funding opportunities, and from the Radiotherapy Trials Quality Assurance (RTTQA) emphasising why researchers should engage with the team early on.
- Delegates were also given an interesting talk by Nuria Porta, Senior Statistician from the Institute of Cancer Research’s Clinical Trials and Statistics Unit, which covered complex trial designs. Her colleague Claire Snowden gave a useful presentation on the role of the Clinical Trials Unit.
- Two proposals were used as ‘case studies’ during the interactive breakout session, and group members discussed issues around selection of appropriate trial design, endpoints and practical considerations.
- To close the meeting, Charlotte Coles (WS3) provided insights to help delegates understand the challenges of being a chief investigator, the need to be optimistic, resilient and have good communication with your colleagues, and there is huge satisfaction when you see the final successes.
Developing your research proposals
- If you require offline advice on a proposal at any time of the year, you can access the radiotherapy clinical trials advisory service (RADCAS). Find out more from the CTRad website: ctrad.ncri.org.uk/research-support/trial-development-service-radcas.
- Consumer members are an integral part of radiotherapy trial development and CTRad’s group of Consumers are very willing to provide advice and support. You will find useful resources on the CTRad website: ctrad.ncri.org.uk/research-support/patient-and-public-involvement