Chemotherapy and Pharmacy Advisory Service (CPAS)

The Chemotherapy and Pharmacy Advisory Service (CPAS) is a multi-disciplinary national team of pharmacists, research nurses and oncologists.  It was set up by the NCRN to advise Chief Investigators, Clinical Trials Units and Clinical Studies Groups on the chemotherapy and pharmacy content of their protocols.  (The team was formerly known as the Oncology, Pharmacy and Chemotherapy Standardisation Committee, or the OPCSC.)

The service is being piloted for all new drug trial protocols entering the NCRN portfolio for a 12-month trial period (started on 1st September 2007) to assess its impact and consequences.

The aim of the service is to help trials across the whole of the NCRN portfolio run as smoothly and quickly as possible, and to improve quality of care and management of risks in prescribing, preparing and administering chemotherapy.  A review of current trials has raised a number of issues which have made trials difficult to implement at the local level and which have led to delays and problems in areas such as:

·          dose adjustments
·          dose capping
·          missing pharmacy information
·          supply of drugs
·          safe administration of chemotherapy

The Chemotherapy and Pharmacy Advisory Service aims to help investigators through these problems, achieving some consistency across the NCRN.  Investigators who have protocols reviewed in this way have reported that it was a helpful and constructive process which reduced the number of protocol amendments that were required during the trial.

CPAS has produced a number of guidance documents to advise investigators on the drug content and details of their protocols, and to assist the review process.  They are available to download below:

Frequently Asked Questions (Word)
Checklist used by CPAS members when reviewing a protocol (Word)
Standard Protocol Template (Word)
Standard Protocol Template (PDF)
Protocol Reviews: Summary of Findings (Word)
Pharmacy Manual Template [Coming Soon!]

If you have any comments, questions or feedback, please email further information, or to submit a protocol for review, please contact Liz Gardner, NCRN Clinical Trials Liaison Officer, on 0113 3438942 or email


DISCLAIMER:  Please note that CPAS is an advisory group only.  The information on this site is provided as guidance only, and has no legal or official standing.  The requirements of the law vary from country to country and depending on specific circumstances, with a corresponding effect on how information and guidance should be applied. Information and guidance found here should not be used as a substitute for appropriate advice from the relevant authorities.

While we make every attempt to ensure that the information contained on this site is accurate and that the general guidance provided is appropriate, NCRN and its associated organisations are not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for any results that might be obtained by relying on this information or guidance. NCRN and its related organisations will in no event be liable to any other per