Tuesday 26th March ‘Cancer Research in Northern Ireland: Creating a Brighter Future Together’

Public Information Event ‘Cancer Research in Northern Ireland: Creating a Brighter Future Together’

Join the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network and Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum in a celebration of Personal & Public Involvement (PPI) in research and local research success. A new strategy for PPI in Cancer Research will be launched at this event. Please see flyer below for more details.

Contact Amy at 028 9063 8468 for registration.

All welcome!

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Click this link to see the finalised agenda













‘Extending the Reach of Partnership’ – Annual Report published on website

 ‘Extending the Reach of Partnership’ – Annual Report published on website

The NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum and NICTN are pleased to announce the Forum’s 2015/2016 annual report is now available on the website (to view the report simply click on this  link ). We hope you enjoy this review of a very active year for the Forum.  As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.


ADRRAD prostate cancer trial patient tells his story – see video

Click on the link to ‘David’s Story’ and scroll down to see a short video featuring Mr David Livingstone speaking about his participation in the ADRRAD study.  ADRRAD [Neo-adjuvant Androgen Deprivation Therapy, Pelvic Radiotherapy and RADium-223 for new presentation T1-4 N0/1 M1B adenocarcinoma of prostate] is a clinical trial led by Professor Joe O’Sullivan, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) / NI Cancer Centre.  In this Movember video Professor O’Sullivan describes the research endeavour to develop new ways to help men with advanced prostate cancer.  The ADRRAD study is co-ordinated by the NI Cancer Trials Network/Belfast Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, and recruitment is nearing completion.  The NICTN and the team of doctors, research radiographers and Trust and University staff involved wish to thank all the men like David who are taking part in this study. 

The study is sponsored by Belfast HSC Trust and funded by Bayer PLC and the Friends of the Cancer Centre.




Dr Ciaran Fairmichael win’s first prize for SPORT study presentation

Dr Ciaran Fairmichael

The Queen’s University School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Postgraduate Research Forum was on 9th November at Riddel Hall. The early results from the SPORT trial were presented by Dr Ciaran Fairmichael as a poster which was selected for oral presentation and went on to win 1st prize. The poster describes the early results from the trial which is co-ordinated by the NICTN. The results presented suggest there is benefit in combining stereotactic prostate radiotherapy, a technique that allows delivery of prostate radiotherapy in only 5 treatments instead of the usual 20-37 days of treatment, with an injected spacer gel to protect the lower bowel. Translational work within the trial looking at blood biomarkers to test for early signs of radiation toxicity was also presented.

Congratulations Ciaran!

Ed Goodall reports from ESMO

Dr. Ed Goodall

Northern Ireland Cancer Research Forum (NICRCF) member, Ed Goodall, was elected in 2018 to the Patient Advisory Committee (PAC) of the Europacolon organisation which incorporates researchers and healthcare professionals from nearly 40 countries. They held their recent October meeting in Munich in conjunction with ESMO (The European Society for Medical Oncology) at the MesseGrande Conference Centre, constructed on the site of the old Oberwiesenfeld airport.

Angel of Peace


A main focus of the meeting was the strategic use of Biosimilars which companies are allowed to make when the patent of the original medicine expires. They are usually able to produce and sell the Biosimilar more cheaply than the original reference medicines. Thus, they are appealing for Healthcare systems and may help to improve access to important medicines for cancer patients and, in particular, for those with metastatic colorectal cancer. A further important discussion concentrated on a strategic policy in Europe for routine screening and the optimal age at which it should be offered. The consensus appeared to be at 50 years of age and supported by more informative publicity campaigns which had been successful in some EC countries. In conclusion, Ed Goodall commented, ‘I left Munich, its Chocolate Box Centre dominated by the golden statuette of the Angel of Peace pointing heavenwards, buzzing with new ideas and inspired to renew efforts to finally defeat our old enemy, cancer.’



Belfast Top UK Recruiter to DARS

Belfast Trust was the top UK recruiter to DARS (A phase III randomised multicentre study of dysphagia optimised intensity modulated radiotherapy (DoIMRT) versus standard intensity modulated radiotherapy (SIMRT) in head and neck cancer.)  Belfast recruitment was above the original local target and the site was commended by the study co-ordinator.  Dr Keith Rooney, the local Principal Investigator, acknowledged how excellent team work had contributed to local success.  We wish to thank all the patients taking part in this study.

Karen Parsons – Finalist – RCNi Excellence in Cancer Research Award – London

Karen Parsons – Finalist RCNi Excellence in Cancer Research Award, London 04 July 2018

The NICTN team and other colleagues congratulated Karen Parsons on her success, reaching the final of the 2018 RCNi Nursing Awards. Karen was one of just five UK finalists in the Excellence in Cancer Research Award category, sponsored by Cancer Research UK. The ceremony was held in the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London 04 July 2018.  The event was a celebration of excellence in nursing across a range of healthcare settings and gave recognition to the amazing work of individuals and teams.

The RCNi summarised Karen’s Prostate Cancer UK funded project achievement: ‘Karen conducted a pilot project integrating holistic needs assessments (HNAs) into the role of cancer research nurses when they become the key workers for prostate cancer patients participating in clinical trials. The HNA includes assessment of physical, practical, family/relationship, emotional, spiritual/religious concerns and lifestyle or information needs. The process includes continence and erectile dysfunction assessment, and development of appropriate care plans and referral. As well as ensuring seamless patient care, a care plan is devised with the patient agreeing the best way to manage concerns or appropriate referrals are made. Positive feedback indicates high levels of satisfaction with information, contact, treatment and support.’

Ruth Boyd, Cancer Research UK Senior Nurse in NI, also attended the awards, and was privileged to present the award to the winner of the Excellence in Cancer Research Award category.

Karen Parsons (Finalist) and Ruth Boyd – RCNi Nurse Awards, London 04 July 2018

NICTN BIG Thank You for Q Radiothon Big Brunch Support

NICTN and Q Radio team – NICTN Big Brunch, NI Cancer Centre 30 May 2018

Staff from the NI Cancer Trials Network (NICTN) at the NI Cancer Centre send a BIG thank you to all the staff, patients and visitors who supported their Q Radiothon Big Brunch, 30 May 2018. A total of £566 was raised towards Friends of the Cancer Centre, Action Cancer, Marie Curie and the Cancer Fund for Children.  Adding to the fun atmosphere there was a live Q Radio broadcast by presenter Errol Doherty who interviewed staff.  Lots of goodies had been baked by staff and NICTN also wish to thank the many businesses who donated supplies for the event: Doorsteps, Lisburn Road, Windsor Co-op, Johnsons Coffee, Genesis and Brew Coffee Shop, Moy.

NICTN team members at the Cancer Centre Foyer Q Radiothon NICTN Big Brunch 30 May 2018

A Celebration of International Clinical Trials Day 2018

To celebrate International Clinical Trials Day (ICTD) members of the NI Cancer Trials Network, the NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum (Mrs Margaret Grayson and Dr Ed Goodall) and the Cancer Research UK Research Engagement Manager provided clinical trial information in the Cancer Centre foyer 18 May 2018.  Once again patients, visitors, researchers and funders at the event showed unreserved support for cancer clinical trials.  This year, to coincide with ICTD the HSC R&D Division distributed the ‘I Am Research’ leaflet, promoting the campaign ‘to shout about how fantastic research is…to raise awareness of the benefits of research and the positive impact it has on people’s lives.’  The range of support in the Cancer Centre illustrated just part of the vast tapestry of involvement in clinical research and the cancer patient pathway.  NICTN, patients and charities were joined by QUB researchers and an array of staff in the Cancer Centre including Oncologists, Nurses, Radiographers, Medical Physicists, Domestic Services and Medical and Nursing students (see photos).  Photos International Clinical Trials Day NI Cancer Centre 18 May 18


Congratulations to Margaret Grayson and Lynette McHendry – MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List!

The NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF) and NI Cancer Trials Network (NICTN) warmly congratulate Margaret Grayson and Lynette McHendry on their Queen’s Birthday Honours.  Forum members, staff and the wider cancer research community are delighted by the news and recognition of their extraordinary achievements.  Typical reactions have been ‘Fabulous news, so well deserved’, ‘Two amazing and inspirational women. Many congratulations to both!’

Margaret Grayson, NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum (NICRCF) Chairperson, has been awarded an MBE for services to cancer research in NI. Margaret is a trailblazer in Personal and Public Involvement (PPI) in cancer research in NI.  Chairperson since the NICRCF was established in 2011, her exemplary leadership and passionate advocacy for PPI in cancer research has been instrumental is creating a culture change of partnership working.  In NI and beyond Margaret works enthusiastically with researchers and other PPI representatives influencing cancer research and PPI.  Margaret is a valued member of many groups including HSC R&D Public Involvement Enhancing Research, several Cancer Research UK advisory panels, National Cancer Research Institute Consumer Involvement Steering Group, Independent Cancer Patients’ Voice and use MY data.   A frequent guest speaker, PPI workshop facilitator and member of many study/project committees and research steering groups, Margaret’s energetic and constructive approach always brings fresh insight and maximises patient benefit. NICRCF members and staff have enormous admiration for Margaret and universally acknowledge how deserving this award is and how fortunate we all are to work with this wonderful friend and colleague!

NICRCF member Lynette McHendry, fundraiser and educator, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, has been awarded an MBE for services to women in the UK with breast cancer.

Following a diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2015, Lynette set about a campaign to raise awareness of symptoms and raise money for research into Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  Lynette says ‘At every opportunity I tell people about Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I don’t refer to it as Breast Cancer as I want every women to know of the very different symptoms than a lump.’  Read more about Lynette’s story here: Lynette McHendry’s Story June 2018.  Lynette is an inspiration and support to so many.  Her amazing achievements in education and fundraising are a testament to her passion and determination.


Both Margaret and Lynette are most deserving of these awards and all who know them are delighted they have received recognition for their wonderful work and service!