International Rare Cancers Initiative
This initiative supports the development of international clinical trials for rare cancers.
The International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI) is a strategic collaboration between;
- Cancer Research UK,
- UK National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN),
- US National Cancer Institute (NCI),
- European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and;
- French National Institute of Cancer (INCa).
The initiative was endorsed by Professor Dame Sally Davies (Chief Medical Officer for England, Director General of Research and Development, and Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and NHS), and has received some financial support from the British Embassy in Washington DC, USA.
Lead clinicians and cancer types
The team coordinating the initiative consults with the relevant clinical communities to identify the highest priorities for international collaborations. The resulting list of rare cancers now forms the core of ICRI's activity. The lead clinicians, listed below, help coordinate the work on each cancer:
- Salivary gland cancer (Dr Kevin Harrington, Dr Alan Ho, Dr Lisa Licitra)
- Small bowel adenocarcinoma (Dr Rob McWilliams, Dr Arnaud Roth, Dr Richard Wilson)
- Gynaecological sarcoma (Professor Jean-Yves Blay, Dr Helen Hatcher, Dr Martee Hensley)
- Penile cancer (Dr Steve Nicholson, Dr Curtis Pettaway, Dr Christine Theodore)
- Relapsed/metastatic anal cancer (Professor Dirk Arnold, Dr Al Benson, Dr Rob Glynne-Jones)
- Thymoma (Professor Frank Detterbeck, Professor Mike Lind, Dr Sanjay Popat)
- Ocular melanoma (Dr Richard Carvajal, Dr Ernie Marshall, Professor Poulam Patel)
- Rare brain cancer (Dr Colin Watts, Dr Eva Galanis, Dr Wolfgang Wick)
- Desmoplastic small-round-cell tumour (DSRCT) (Professor Jeremy Whelan, Dr Winette van der Graaf, Dr Paul Meyers, Dr Richard Gorlick)
For each of these rare cancers, the coordinating team has run successful meetings alongside other national and international cancer conferences, such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conference and the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) Conference. The researchers working on each of these cancers are at different stages of either discussing potential study ideas, applying to the partner organisations for funding, or in the process of trial set-up internationally.
Find out more
In Pioneering Research, our annual research publication, we look at how we create mutually beneficial partnerships that support our own research objectives and those of our partners.