Professor Carlos Caldas and Professor Tony Green
We are fortunate to have world-class cancer research programmes spread across multiple institutes and departments within Cambridge University, together with an outstanding university hospital.
Over the past year we have continued to develop the Cambridge Cancer Centre, using Cambridge BRC funding primarily to support the infrastructure and resources needed at the interface between research and the clinic rather than funding complete programmes of research.
It has historically been difficult to fund translational activities at the interface of the clinic and laboratory research and the BRC cancer funding has been a catalyst for addressing this need within Cambridge's wider cancer research environment.
We have divided Cambridge BRC's funding between core resources for the Cancer Centre as a whole and tumour-specific infrastructure. We are pleased that this investment has helped to lever additional financial support from a range of strategic external partners.
Our core resources are the clinical information system, JCIS, which has been developed in house to allow integration (with safeguards) of research and clinical data including data for management and audit, and the core staff of the Clinical Trials Unit.
Through our tumour-specific infrastructure we have focused on seven cancer site-specific programmes for support, based on their potential for development:
- haematological malignancies
We have also supported the development of our phase I/Experimental Cancer Medicine Unit.
For each programme, using BRC funding and infrastructure funds from Cancer Research UK, we have provided research nurses, data managers, technical support - pathology, imaging - and, in particular, NHS Consultant time.
By giving individuals protected time to work as part of the cancer site-specific research teams, we are strengthening the bridge from laboratory to clinic, raising clinical standards and obtaining the extra input for pathology and imaging that is needed if we are to fulfill our objectives.