Issue 4 – November 2013

Welcome to the fourth edition of the Liaison Office newsletter. We’d like to begin by announcing that the Liaison Office is undergoing some changes

The UK Liaison Office is expanding!

Over recent years the work of the Liaison Office has proved highly beneficial for UK investigators and the EORTC. With a continuing need to increase international studies, increase UK site and patient participation, and improve the speed of study opening in the UK, the welcome decision has been made to expand the Liaison Office to provide an even better service.

So we are pleased to announce that Liz Flackett and Nick Preston will continue their roles as Liaison Officers based in Leeds. In addition to this a new Liaison Officer is to be appointed based at CR-UK in London.

Table of content

What will the Liaison Office do?

The three Liaison Officers will work closely together to provide a comprehensive regulatory and collaborative service for UK investigators and the EORTC:

Assisting UK investigators to open EORTCled studies in the UK, and UK-led studies in the EORTC:

UK EORTC Liaison Officers:

Liz-Flackett-3Liz Flackett
Monday to Wednesday

Location: NCRN Co-ordinating Centre, Leeds

Liz and Nick will focus on helping UK investigators work through the regulatory procedures required to open an EORTC study in the UK and to open UK studies in the EORTC. This is vital to ensure studies are open in an effective and timely manner. They will also be the central contact point for any EORTC-related queries and as a communication channel with EORTC.

Facilitating collaborations between UK and EORTC:

UK EORTC Liaison Officer:
To be confirmed (in post early 2014)
(part time)

Location: CR-UK, London

This post will focus on facilitating communication between the EORTC, CSGs, Chief Investigators and Clinical Trials Units. This is a crucial factor in successfully establishing trials, and we want to increase contact between relevant parties at the earliest opportunity within trial development and set up.

Please now use the following email address for ALL EORTC-related matters:
We hope you continue to find the Liaison Office a useful resource.

Collaborative Initiatives

International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI)

IRCI continues to be an exciting initiative aiming to facilitate the development of international clinical trials for patients with rare cancers.

INCa – a new IRCI partner: The IRCI team are excited to announce that The French National Institute of Cancer (INCa) have decided to join IRCI as a partner organisation.

ICRI groups update

Over the last six months studies have progressed in the areas of:

  • Small bowel adenocarcinoma
  • Relapsed/metastatic anal cancer
  • Thymoma
  • Penile cancer
  • Gynaecological sarcoma: uLMS is currently open in the US and has now recruited 3 patients. It is anticipated that uLMS will open in the EU and mainland UK imminently.
  • Salivary gland cancer: A randomised phase II study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of chemotherapy vs. androgen deprivation therapy in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic, androgen receptor expressing, salivary gland cancer. The EORTC are currently in the process of finalising the protocol.
  • Ocular melanoma: A randomised phase two-arm phase II study of Trametinib alone and in combination with GSK214795 in patients with advanced uveal melanoma. The trial has now opened to recruitment in the US. In the UK, the trial has been approved by CTAAC and is currently in set-up with the aim to open to recruitment in January 2014.

Two new groups: The Rare brain cancer and Desmoplastic small round cell tumour (DSRCT) groups met for the first time alongside ASCO 2013. The Rare brain cancer group are now planning to meet alongside The Society of Neuro-Oncology meeting in November to further discuss developing trials for patients with Anaplastic meningioma and Adult medulloblastoma.

IRCI Methodological meeting alongside The European Cancer Congress (ECCO): IRCI recently ran an extremely interesting and very well attended Methodological meeting alongside the ECCO Annual Meeting. The aim of the meeting was to provide an opportunity to consider the statistical approaches and trial designs used for IRCI studies to date, to discuss what approaches have worked well, and to share ideas for study designs for rare cancer trials. A publication from the meeting is now in development.

For further information:

How can innovative forms of clinical research contribute to deliver affordable cancer care in an evolving health care environment? An EORTC initiative

As healthcare costs are constantly rising and governments are reforming their healthcare systems there is an urgent need to reshape the European clinical research landscape.

Denis Lacombe, Director of EORTC Headquarters, recently presented a proposal for new strategies and models for efficient and cost-effective integration of translational research in clinical cancer research in co-operation with the pharmaceutical industry.

The full presentation is available here.

Encouraging UK recruitment to EORTC studies

The majority of EORTC studies open in the UK have been adopted onto the NIHR (NCRN) Portfolio. As such they are subject to recruitment monitoring. Performance reports have been developed to indicate how well studies are recruiting. We would therefore like to continue to stress the importance of providing accurate target recruitment figures at the feasibility stage at each site and to encourage recruitment to EORTC studies if you are a participating investigator.

Studies (open or in set-up)

All open clinical trials or trials to be opened are available here.

EORTC Fellowships

The EORTC has a well established research Fellow Program (since 1991). Further details can be found here.

Web Resources

EORTC information and guidance can be found on the EORTC website.

EORTC membership – information regarding membership can be found here or by emailing or contacting the Liaison Office.

Trials on the UK NIHR Portfolio can be found on the NIHR Clinical Research Network website.

‘The  NIHR CRN website has an EORTC section which is currently being updated. This will provide information, guidance for setting up trials with EORTC and answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.

We welcome ideas for additional items for inclusion on the website.

EORTC Events

Liaison Office Contact

Liz Flackett & Nick Preston, EORTC Liaison Officers

NIHR Cancer Research Network
Coordinating Centre
University of Leeds
Fairbairn House, MacMillan Wing
71-75 Clarendon Road

Tel: 0113 343 8946
Fax: 0113 343 2242

London based contact details to be confirmed.

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