Four of the UK’s most promising cancer doctors have received a prestigious award from Cancer Research UK to fund crucial research to develop and test urgently-needed treatments.
The Cancer Research UK clinical trial fellowship award provides funding for up to three years and will enable Dr Ben Fulton, Dr Katy Herring, Dr Jenny Seligmann and Dr Victoria Woodcock to train at a Clinical Trials Unit*.
“We believe research like this to design and run new clinical trials of promising treatments will accelerate progress and increase survival from cancer.” – Dr Ian Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of clinical research
The doctors will gain skills and experience to design and lead clinical trials of the newest and most promising cancer medicines – to save more lives from the disease in the future.
Clinical trials are a vital part of cancer research. They are the best way to find out if a new treatment or procedure is safe, is better than the standard treatment or helps reduce side effects for patients.
The doctors will focus on different treatments, including ‘precision’ medicines for bladder and pancreatic cancers, tailoring treatments for bowel and lung cancer patients based on the gene faults behind their disease, and immunotherapy drugs – which use the body’s natural defences to attack cancer cells.
Dr Victoria Woodcock, one of the Cancer Research UK clinical trial fellows who will be developing new immunotherapy drugs, said: “As a cancer researcher it’s exciting to help develop drugs which I hope could one day save thousands of lives – it’s a great feeling. With this support and training in a clinical trials unit I’ll be able to design crucially important studies that will test new, more effective ways to treat cancer.”
Dr Ian Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of clinical research, said: “In order to develop future cancer treatments we must invest in scientists and doctors – which is why we’re supporting these talented doctors through this programme.
“We fund more than 250 clinical trials across the UK, which cover a wide range of treatments including radiotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy – with more than 27,000 patients taking part in one of our trials last year.
“We believe research like this to design and run new clinical trials of promising treatments will accelerate progress and increase survival from cancer.”
* Dr Ben Fulton will train at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Glasgow, Dr Katy Herring will train at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham, Dr Jenny Seligmann will train at the Leeds Clinical Trial Research Unit, and Dr Victoria Woodcock will train at the Oxford University Clinical Trials Research Unit.
For media enquiries contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 8300 or, out of hours, on 07050 264 059.