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;

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

Visit the IRCI website

Contact us

Ewan Hughes McInnesEwan Hughes McInnes

Research Funding Manager

Tel: 020 3469 6532

Achieving more through working in partnership

Working in partnership

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.

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