Finding the cancer treatments of the future

Clinical trials


Professor Pam Kearns is Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU) at the University of Birmingham. This unit is the biggest of its kind in the UK and has been translating cutting-edge science into better care for cancer patients for over 40 years.

Many clinical trials designed and conducted at the CRCTU, particularly for children’s cancer and rare cancers, are collaborative and bring together cancer researchers across the world. Other trials are smaller and more experimental, pioneering groundbreaking new cancer therapies.

The unit also delivers trials looking into personalised cancer medicine, which aim to tailor treatment to individuals, meaning that treatments may be more effective and have fewer side effects.

Big clinical trials units like the CRCTU have a huge part to play in helping us beat cancer, by helping turn research in the lab into real treatments that save lives.

The trials run from this unit have produced some great successes over the years. For example, the unit managed a series of sequential clinical trials called SIOPEL, which progressively tested new drugs and treatment combinations for children with certain types of liver cancer. Thanks in part to these clinical trials and the effective new treatments available, more children now survive this cancer than ever before.