Highlights from NCRI 2016

Share :
Published: 23 Nov 2016
Views: 2000
Dr Karen Kennedy - Director, NCRI

Dr Kennedy speaks with ecancertv at NCRI 2016 to discuss highlights from the conference.

She describes collaborations with the BASO to encourage surgical aspects in research, patient involvement in 'Dragons Den' fora, and workshop sessions across a host of treatment modalities.

Dr Kennedy also discusses global access and attitudes to breast cancer care, and advances in molecular pathology

Looking forward, she introduces upcoming initiatives to boost research in ongoing cancer survivorship.

This year’s NCRI conference is covering the whole spectrum of cancer research; it’s covering basic clinical translational implementation and policy research but also the patient path. We’ve got themes across the whole patient journey, there are some particularly interesting sessions this year. We’ve got a partnership with BASO, the Association of Cancer Surgery; boosting surgical research is an important area for us at NCRI, we’ve got an initiative in this area trying to bring the surgical community together to discuss issues that they face and then partnering with BASO is another part of that to bring interaction across the different research communities, again with the goal of boosting research activity.

Other interesting parts of the programme – always we have a lot of consumer involvement again this year, a lot of consumers, so people affected by cancer, are participating in the conference. We have another Dragon’s Den session today at the conference where there’s an opportunity for researchers to pitch their research ideas to consumers and get some feedback from the consumers about the proposals themselves, about if they’re appropriate for patients, whether patients would be likely to engage with that research. We’ve got some sessions and there’s a workshop on how research is translated into the NHS and some of the challenges and how we might be able to address that. We’ve got our usual partnership with the Royal College of Radiologists, again sessions on radiotherapy research, again an important area for us at NCRI where we’ve been working for some time quite successfully through CTRad to boost research activity in this area.

Has there been any work of particular interest to you?

One of the sessions this morning that actually really stood out for me was a session on managing breast cancer in lower and middle income countries and some of the challenges that those countries face and the individuals who are the healthcare professionals actually face in those countries in treating people and issues across the spectrum of access, people’s views on breast cancer, resource issues, lots of challenges. It was quite a sobering presentation to hear that and really important to hear the challenges in those countries.

Could you tell us about molecular pathology?

Another area that’s important for us at NCRI as well is in cellular molecular pathology. We’ve got an initiative again trying to boost activity and capacity and capability in the area of cellular and molecular pathology. Again we have some sessions during the conference looking at some of the issues in molecular diagnostics and the research in that area which links very much in with our activities to boost activity in this important area.

What’s next for NCRI?

We’re about to launch a new initiative in the area of living with and beyond cancer research. So as we treat people more successfully with cancer we’ve got a growing population of individuals who are living with and beyond cancer. These individuals often have complex needs associated with their cancer but at the moment there’s very little research activity in this area looking at those needs and how we might best address them. We’ve done some exploratory work to try and understand why there is a low level of research activity in this area and we’re about to launch an eighteen month initiative to begin to address that. So we’re going to be running a James Lind Alliance priority setting partnership which is a mechanism for us to get the views of the people affected by cancer themselves as well as healthcare professionals to set the research priorities in this area. We’re also then going to be doing some grantsmanship work with this community to ensure that they are able to compete effectively for funding that might be available to fund their research.