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Investing in the future of cancer care via the Cancer Clinical Trials Centre (CCTC)

We're delighted to have extended our funding for Weston Park Cancer Centre’s Cancer Clinical Trials Centre (CCTC) to ensure that cancer patients in our region continue to benefit from high-quality and novel cancer research and clinical trials carried out in Sheffield.

We have proudly extended our funding for Weston Park Cancer Centre’s Cancer Clinical Trials Centre (CCTC) to ensure that patients in South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire continue to benefit from high-quality and novel cancer research and clinical trials carried out in Sheffield.

Our relationship with Weston Park’s Cancer Clinical Trials Centre dates back to its establishment in 1999, when charitable funding helped establish the centre. It has since become a key facility in the UK for optimising novel treatments and experimental cancer research.

Weston Park Cancer Charity’s new round of more than £278,000 of funding renews our commitment until at least March 2024. It will see the us fund seven research nurse posts, roles which are critical in providing information to patients about trials, supporting patients as they consider whether or not to take part in trials, and in follow-up.

The posts which this grant funds are:

  • Lead research nurse
  • Breast research nurse
  • Urology research nurse
  • Gastrointestinal research nurse
  • Lung research nurse
  • Haemato-oncology research nurse
  • Rare tumours research nurse

The charity has proudly worked with the CCTC for more than 23 years – including Professor Jon Wadsley, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Weston Park Cancer Centre and CCTC Director, to give people across the region the opportunity to participate in and benefit from ground-breaking clinical trials and studies.

Professor Wadsley said:

“We’re incredibly grateful to Weston Park Cancer Charity and its extremely generous supporters – this funding extension is fantastic news.
“Research and clinical trials conducted here in Sheffield make a difference to cancer patients across the world – changing, and often saving, thousands of lives.”

Among the people whose lives have ultimately been changed dramatically by the work of the CCTC is Weston Park Cancer Charity patron, John Price.

John defied a terminal cancer diagnosis to see his sons through their education, qualify in their respective professionals, get married and have children – after taking part in a clinical trial funded by Weston Park Cancer Charity which ultimately extended his life greatly.

Weston Park is well-known as one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England, and it’s thanks to the our supporters that it is able to support the CCTC and help Sheffield maintain its status of a centre of scientific and clinical excellence.

Professor Robert Coleman, Trustee at Weston Park Cancer Charity and Emeritus Professor of Medical Oncology, has played a leading role in cancer research and excellence here in Sheffield for decades.

On the charity’s renewal of funding for the CCTC, Prof Coleman said:

“Research is essential to improve treatments for cancer and continue the steady improvements in outcomes achieved over the past 50 years, since Weston Park Cancer Centre opened its doors.

“Despite the progress made, one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and cancer remains the major cause of death in the UK. Therefore, it is imperative that the momentum achieved in translating breakthroughs in our understanding of the biology of cancer and potential new treatment approaches into the clinic are not lost.

“For more than 20 years, Weston Park has been a leading clinical research centre in the UK, recruiting thousands of patients into clinical trials and contributing to the global endeavour to improve the lives of cancer patients.”

Professor Wadsley continued: “The funding we receive from Weston Park Cancer Charity allows us to support a large study portfolio, covering all aspects of disease types and phases.

“Not only do our research nurses provide vital information and sound advice to existing patients, but they are also critical to identifying potential trial participants and ensuring equitable access to clinical trials for all of the patients that we serve.”

In response to Weston Park Cancer Charity’s renewed partnership with the CCTC, Emma Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Enabling research and clinical trials is an essential part of what we do at Weston Park Cancer Charity, and I’m delighted that our support for the CCTC will continue.

“As a born and bred Sheffielder, the very fact that work done here in South Yorkshire benefits thousands of cancer patients, across the region and worldwide, is something to be extremely proud of.”

Since its creation more than 25 years ago, Weston Park Cancer Charity has generously provided funds to support cancer research in Sheffield, especially to enable clinical trials that provide access to new treatments before they are available on the NHS.

Many of the treatments tested in the clinical trials of the past are now part of current standard treatment and the charity is committed to continuing its support to bringing even more effective treatments to the clinic over the coming years.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic on income generation, clinical research and innovative patient support during and after cancer treatment will remain a priority.

Cancer has not stopped because of Covid, and supporting research into novel treatments and care has been highlighted by drops in referrals and diagnoses experienced during the pandemic and the need to give people access to the best possible treatment remains paramount.

“It’s been an incredibly tough few years for everyone, taking into account the Covid-19 pandemic, cost of living crisis and so much more,” continued Emma.

“Weston Park is part of the fabric of this city – it’s part of our heritage. So it is absolutely crucial that this next round of funding for the CCTC should continue.”

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