My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Wales to share funding for cancer clinical trials

Wales is to receive a share of £5.9m to help cancer patients receive ground-breaking new cancer medicines, it was revealed today. 

The money is being invested by Cancer Research UK to continue to fund a UK-wide network of Senior Research Nurses.  

Wales will benefit from around £265,834 which includes funding for a Senior Research Nurse over the next five years. 

Senior Research Nurses play a critical role in helping people affected by cancer gain access to clinical trials which offer patients, some of whom have few remaining treatment options, the opportunity to try new therapies which, if effective, can be adopted more widely for others. 

These roles act as a key liaison between researchers, health professionals and patients and help to both raise awareness of cancer clinical trials and support delivery of trials within the NHS.  

Cancer Research UK currently funds 15 Senior Research Nurses across the UK including Scotland, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Cambridge, Newcastle, Oxford and Southampton.  

 The nurse in Wales works closely with Cardiff’s Experimental Cancer Medicines Centre (ECMC) which runs clinical trials for patients with cancer in Wales. 

One ongoing clinical trial, which recently launched for people in Wales, is DETERMINE (Determining Extended Therapeutic indications for Existing drugs in Rare Molecularly-defined Indications Using a National Evaluation platform) which is the largest precision medicines trial ever funded by Cancer Research UK. 

DETERMINE seeks to match people with rare cancers, or cancers with rare genetic faults, with existing medications already used to treat other cancers. If successful, those medicines could then be quickly approved to treat other patients with the same rare cancer across the UK.  

Matching treatment to a specific patient is known as precision medicine, a growing area of cancer medicine particularly used in rare cancers or cancers with specific genetic faults which cause it to develop.  

CRUK-funded Senior Research Nurses have been critical in helping shape, facilitate and recruit patients to the DETERMINE trial across the UK. 

Anne Croudass, Cancer Research UK’s Lead Research Nurse, said: 

“We are delighted to announce this renewed funding for our Senior Research Nurses who perform an invaluable role in Wales and across the UK. 

“This demonstrates our commitment to offering, and recruiting patients to, clinical trials wherever possible for patients with cancer. 

“Clinical trials offer opportunities for new and more effective treatments for cancer and provide hope for patients now and in the future.” 

Dr Nicola Williams, Director of Support and Delivery, Health and Care Research Wales, said:  

“We are grateful to Cancer Research UK for the renewal of funding for a Senior Research Nurse post for Wales. 

“This role is pivotal in connecting cancer research delivery across the NHS organisations and to raise the profile of cancer research in Wales.”