Memorandum submitted by the Leukaemia
The virtual National Cancer Research Institute
has provided a welcome focus for cancer funding agencies to work
together in a strategic partnership. The creation of a common
UK research database is an important and worthy first goal for
NCRI. The simultaneous establishment of the National Cancer Research
Network has created a co-ordinated infrastructure for the speedy
delivery of well conducted and informative clinical trials in
combination with integrated laboratory-based research projects.
A review of UK trial offices and their output is one of the first
tasks of NCRN. The aim of the review will be to create a clearly
defined environment for agencies within NCRI to invest in internationally
competitive trials and research. The targets set for patient accrual
and the timetable for the completion of trials are tough but achievable.
My initial conclusions both as a member of the NCRI Board and
the NCRN Steering Committee are that these dual initiatives have
been embraced with energy and enthusiasm by cancer physicians
and scientists. It is now crucial to build on this positive start
and to demonstrate to the UK cancer research community that by
working within NCRI and NCRN the whole of UK cancer research can
be greater than the sum of the parts. If successful, progress
in cancer diagnosis and treatment should be greatly accelerated.
Dr David Grant
6 December 2001