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Cancer Network

The Scottish Cancer Research Network (SCRN) is an initiative supported by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government to increase, support and sustain clinical trial activity in cancer care in partnership with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC).

The fundamental aim of the SCRN is to support the recruitment of cancer patients into clinical research and so contribute to improving the quality of cancer care for patients across Scotland. This has been achieved by improving the supportive research infrastructure in NHS Cancer Services in Scotland. Key aims include:

  • Breadth of portfolio - Support recruitment to a range of trials, not just common cancers
  • Randomised Controlled Trial focus - Support recruitment to therapy trials.
  • Translational research - Work in partnership with the Experimental Cancer Medicine Network (ECMC) or equivalent
  • Equity of access - facilitate access to clinical trials outside the main Cancer Centres

The SCRN is led by Research Champion Professor David Cameron and is divided into regions: the North, East, South East and West. Each region has a Clinical Lead and a Network Manager to support their regional trial portfolio and research teams. The clinical research supported by the SCRN is peer reviewed, quality research that is included in the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) clinical trial portfolio or considered eligible by the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) in Scotland.

Scottish Cancer Research Network - West

The hub of the Scottish Cancer Research Network - West is the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRUK CTU) in the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (BWoSCC). From here extends the network of clinical trials staff based in hospitals in each of the West of Scotland Cancer Network WoSCAN NHS Health Board areas – NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Forth Valley and NHS Lanarkshire. The research team support local recruitment to cancer clinical trials and so provide cancer patients with the opportunity to participate in cancer clinical trials at their local hospital.

Further information:

Karen Bell  

News highlights from the West node:

  • The Beatson Cancer Centre is featured in a three-part BBC1 series telling the stories of patients undergoing cancer treatment at the hospital.  The programme features some patients that are taking part in clinical trials at the Beatson.

Scottish Cancer Research Network – South East

The South East Scotland Cancer Research Network (SCRN-SE) was one of the three Scottish Cancer Research Networks established in 2003 with the support from Cancer in Scotland, the Chief Scientist's Office and Information services Division (ISD). SCRN – SE covers NHS Borders, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, NHS Fife and NHS Lothian Health Board areas, with a population of around 1.4 million and supports research across these regions. The SCRN-SE's Management Team include the Experimental Cancer Research Network and Lothian R&D who meet bi-monthly. There is also a steering group for the Research Network which meets annually. The SCRN-SE is structured around disease specific teams to maximise the support for research, both within the Cancer Centre and in local Cancer Units across the region. Research staff based in local Cancer Units cover different disease sites but link in with each of the disease specific teams.

Further information:

Dorothy Boyle

News highlights from the South East node:

Scotland Cancer Research Network - North

The Scottish Cancer Research Network - North (SCRN-N) was established in 2003 and covers NHS Grampian, NHS Highland,  NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland and NHS Western Isles. The two main centres in the North of Scotland are Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Raigmore Hospital.  Currently Dr Marianne Nicolson, Consultant Medical Oncologist, is the Clinical Lead for the SCRN-N and Dr Kirsty Shearer is the Network Manager. 

Within the network we have a selection of highly trained medical professionals who work together to deliver a wide variety of services including medical, nursing, radiography, bio-chemistry, pharmacy, pathology, data management and administration to support cancer research.

Further information:

Kirsty Shearer

News highlights from the North node:

  • Well done to our small but mighty cancer research team in NHS Highland who have worked extremely hard to recruit to the STAMPEDE trial (Systemic Therapy in Advancing or Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy), to be the second highest recruiting site in the UK and top recruiters for the pilot biomarker study.  PI on the study Neil McPhail is extremely proud of their tireless endeavour which has transformed the life of men with aggressive prostate cancer.  The STAMPEDE trial paper on Abiraterone in hormone sensitive prostate cancer published in NEJM has been shortlisted for BJM paper of the year.

Scotland Cancer Research Network – East

In December 2009 NHS Tayside became the fourth SCRN regional network.  The Clinical Lead for the East node is Professor Ghulam Nabi, chair of surgical uro-oncology at Ninewells hospital and the Network Manager is Dr Kirsty Shearer.  SCRN-East covers a population of approximately 500,000 in Tayside and North East Fife, taking in the major clinical research facilities at Perth Royal Infirmary and at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee.

SCRN-E integrates SCRN research staff with staff employed from other funding streams, and staff work very closely with the Clinical Research Centre, as part of the site-wide management of facilities and resources under the Tayside Medical Science Centre.

Further information:

Kirsty Shearer

News highlights from the East node:

  • Dr Michelle Ferguson, Dr Gillian Smith and Dr Wendy McMullen have been awarded a CSO grant  to continue and extend their already well established translational ovarian cancer programme.