The UK has a world-class reputation for clinical trials of cancer treatments
In a recent post, we started to show why the UK has a strong record in running high-quality cancer clinical trials. We explained that trials have to be designed well, so that they answer important questions. They are also managed effectively, thanks to the support of a network of Clinical Trials Units.
Here are two more reasons why the UK is a good place to run cancer trials.
Clinical trials are vital for improving treatment for people with cancer
The debate over the relative merits of the UK and US healthcare systems is rumbling on. The truth is that different systems work in different ways, have different priorities and do different things well. Henry has already written about the difficulties of making comparisons about cancer care between different countries.
In spite of the criticisms, the NHS is a health system that we can be proud of. One of the most impressive achievements is the UK’s strong record in cancer clinical trials.
A recent article in the New York Times presented a gloomy picture of the situation for cancer trials in the USA. It described how only 3 per cent of US cancer patients take part in trials, discussed the fact that doctors are reluctant to enrol patients because they lose money, and suggested that the designs of many of the trials are poor.
Perhaps most worryingly of all, only one in five US cancer clinical trials ever publish the results they come up with. This is a huge waste of time and money, and bad news for the patients who volunteered to take part.
So is the situation any better in the UK? Are cancer clinical trials in the NHS working? We would argue that they are.
Over a couple of posts, we thought we’d have a look at the strength of the way we do clinical trials in the UK.
It's vital to train the next generation of cancer researchers
At Cancer Research UK, we’ve set ourselves some ambitious goals for beating cancer. One of them is that we will continue to support the development of young scientists, so that we can continue our research work.
But how do people become scientists? And how does Cancer Research UK support their development? In this post we’ll look at how we help train the next generation of research stars.
We have a responsibility to spend our supporters' money wisely
Last year, our actual research spend was £355 million – that’s more than any other cancer charity. All of this money comes from the generous donations of millions of people in the UK. It’s vital that we spend it wisely, and that people know how we decide what to fund.
Here’s a peek behind the scenes of our funding process.