Background Information

The NCRI Clinical Studies Groups represent a central component of the new framework for cancer research in the UK, providing the primary route through which new ideas for clinical trials are developed.

There are currently 22 NCRI Clinical Studies Groups, including 15 cancer site specific Groups, six generic groups and one Consumer Liaison Group. Four of the generic groups are Development Groups in Primary Care, Psychosocial Oncology, Complementary Therapies and Teenagers and Young Adults. The latter is the newest Group and was established in Summer 2005. The two remaining generic Clinical Studies Groups are Translational and Palliative Care. The Groups are funded by the major cancer charities and the MRC and are UK wide in their remit.

Each of the Groups is formally constituted. There is a system of membership rotation and a transparent appointment process for new Chairs. Public advertisements are placed for both Chairs and members of the Groups. Any changes to the membership of a Group are immediately recorded on the website of that Group. The Groups differ in their size of membership and balance of specialities within them. Each Group has a number of scientific members, three consumer representatives and a number of observer/ funding body representatives. Several Clinical Studies Groups have subgroups or working parties which are open to individuals who are not necessarily members of the parent Group. The Chair of a Clinical Study Group is responsible for approving subgroups and working parties and their membership. The Groups meet twice a year and have a common format to their agenda. In addition the various subgroups and working parties meet to progress the work of the Group between meetings.

Details of the subgroups and working parties are available via the ‘remit’ link below.

The Groups are charged with the development of national cancer clinical trials and work to a broad, but common remit. This includes overseeing existing studies, considering new research questions, developing proposals and securing funding from NCRI members and other sources as well as providing expert advice. Additionally, many of the Clinical Studies Groups organise and run an annual trials meeting and where appropriate contribute to NICE and HTA reviews and appraisals. The Groups host a rolling programme of national meetings open to all those involved in clinical research. The annual trials meetings are free and attract Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for network staff. Each group undergoes independent progress review every three years. Membership of the Progress Review Panel includes international specialists, one or more NCRN Directors, another CS(D)G Chair, the Senior Executive of the CSG Secretariat and representatives from the funding bodies. The key strengtgs and issues arising for a Group from their review are published in the Group’s annual report for the year in which they were reviewed.

The Consumer Liaison Group (CLG) The CLG operates to improve the quality and value of cancer research through consumer involvement and to raise public awareness of clinical research and cancer research in particular.

The NCRI CLG was formed in April 2001 at the same time as the NCRN, following its transfer from the UK Co-ordinating Committee on Cancer Research.  The CLG acts asa focal point for discussion, advice and feedback to the NCRI, NCRN and wider stakeholders on cancer research issues affecting consumers. For further information about the CLG please click here.

The Secretariat, responsible for the overall day-to-day management and support of the Groups, is led by Dr Eileen Loucaides. Strategic management of the Groups, including peer review, is the role of the NCRN Operational Steering Group where all the major funding bodies are represented. The current Groups are listed below with links to further information.

If you would like to know more about any of the Groups, please contact: Dr Eileen Loucaides, or telephone 0207 061 8582.

Existing Clinical Studies Groups (please use links in menu to left for specific pages):

  • Bladder Cancer Group
  • Brain Tumour Group
  • Breast Cancer Group
  • Colorectal Cancer Group
  • Complementary Therapies Development Group
  • Consumer Liaison Group
  • Gynaecological Cancer Group
  • Haematological Oncology Group
  • Head and Neck Cancer Group
  • Lung Cancer Group
  • Lymphoma Group
  • Melanoma Group
  • Palliative Care Group
  • Primary Care Development Group
  • Prostate Cancer Group
  • Psychosocial Oncology Group
  • Radiotherapy Group
  • Renal Cancer Group
  • Sarcoma Group
  • Teenage and Young Adults Clinical Studies Development Group
  • Testis Cancer Group
  • Translational Clinical Studies Group
  • Upper Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Group