Clinical Professionals Attend the NHS R&D Forum

Our Director of Academies, Nikki Doyle, attended the NHS R&D Forum in Brighton last week.  There was a choice of twenty different sessions over two days covering all aspects of the clinical trials environment in the UK at the present time.

The first day started with a session which provided insight into perspectives by patients, governmental policy makers and the UK regulator. Jess Mills, the daughter of the late Dame Tessa Jowell, talked about her mother’s illness and how she acted as her advocate in a very emotional and thought-provoking manner.

She also spoke about the work that she and her mother started and how, a year later, she is continuing to be a voice for all cancer patients in the UK through the ACT For Cancer charity. The charity was started as Dame Jowell’s disease progressed and she began looking at the selective availability of novel drug treatment which she called ‘the cancer gap’. She simply asked the question ‘What would every patient want? To know the best, the latest science is being used for them’.

The charity aims to build ‘a movement to deliver the most cutting edge, adaptive, personalised treatments and care to all untreatable cancer patients throughout the NHS’. As well as promoting equal access for all to new cancer treatments and drugs, ACT are also working to help coach family members and friends who unexpectedly find themselves in a carer’s role, to become effective advocates for their loved one.

The Telegraph reported that this week Dame Jowell’s legacy was highlighted in Parliament with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announcing the introduction of across the board usage of 5-aminolevulinic acid, or “pink drink”. When used the dye makes cancerous cells glow which in turn improves the success rates in surgery. The Health Secretary said’ this could save the lives of 2,000 patients every year – “a fitting testament to Tessa Jowell’s memory”.

In addition, the Institute of Cancer Research launched a ground-breaking programme this week to ‘develop drugs to target treatment-resistant cancer cells, meaning the disease, where not curable, becomes a manageable one that no longer shortens lives’, which echoes Dame Jowell’s words in her last speech to the House of Lords, ‘We can all live well with cancer, not just die from it’.

Nikki said ‘There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Jess finished speaking, all 500 delegates were profoundly affected by her passion to complete her mothers work. It certainly focussed everyone in the room to consider the real reason why they were involved in clinical research’.

In recognition for the importance of some of the clinical trials mentioned at the conference and for International Clinical Trials day, Clinical Professionals will be posting various articles around the topic and frequently asked questions.

If you are interested in a role within clinical trials do not hesitate to get in contact by emailing or calling 0118 959 4990

Source: Act for cancer

Source: Telegraph