Is it time to give patients the opportunity to self-refer themselves to take part in NHS research?

Harpal Kumar, the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, yesterday posted a blog about the new task force he is leading for NHS England on cancer diagnosis.  The aim of the task force is to enable people to get an earlier and speedier diagnosis of their tumour in the future.  But it will also be looking at treatment and... Continue Reading →

Medical research may appear a pantomime at times but all good pantos hold a lesson or two

First his head came into view, followed soon after by his tail..... On Boxing Day Cancer Research UK issued figures suggesting that almost 600,000 deaths from cancer between 2007 and 2011 could have been prevented by healthier lifestyles.  Then, on New Year's Day, we were told that scientists at John Hopkins in University in the... Continue Reading →


It was so humid when I stepped onto the sidewalk it felt like I was treading water. A threat of storms hung in the air, battleship colour clouds steaming slowly across the horizon. Far from here but menacing nonetheless.  An occasional spot of rain found its way on to the floor; a steady hum of a/c... Continue Reading →

Cancer patient experience survey results show variations in access to clinical trials and research

The results of the annual cancer patient experience survey are out today. For those of us committed to improving patient access to clinical trials and other research, this year's report is particularly interesting.  As far as I know, this is the first year that the survey asked patients whether taking part in research had been discussed... Continue Reading →

International leaders in cancer research in conversation and a new Channel 4 video on clinical trials

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has a rather nifty web-page at the moment with various leading lights in cancer research talking about cancer therapeutics.   They include Bob Brown, chair, translational oncology, Imperial College London. And hear is a rather nifty video explaining drug trials done by Channel 4.  Just click on the picture... Continue Reading →

NCRI in Liverpool

This week sees the annual National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) annual conference take place in Liverpool. Expect a regular flow of news stories highlighting recent cancer research findings - there's already been one rather interesting piece about the increased risk of bowel cancer for men on lower incomes . Here is the homepage for the... Continue Reading →

'Health research cuts'

Today's 'exclusive' in the The Times online headlined 'Cancer research at risk in scramble for care funds' has caused understandable concern and outrage.  It is an interesting piece based on comments made to The Times by the Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham MP.  But some background may help us get a better perspective on... Continue Reading →

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