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Our research at ICR-CTSU

We lead ground-breaking, efficient, high-quality, and impactful trials across the phases, underpinned by applied methodology to drive forward clinical trial innovation.

See our clinical trials

How we work

With our innovative approach to trial design and use of novel methodologies with integral translational research, we aim to generate an evidence-base for smarter, kinder treatments.

Our applied approach ensures that trials are as informative and efficient as possible, often in challenging and complex settings. We work closely with patient partners to influence practice according to patient need, recognising the value of risk-adapted treatment in the pursuit of personally tailored medicine and long-term quality of life and survivorship. We remain committed to ensuring our trials are accessible, inclusive, and relevant for a broad range of patients.

Our expertise

We have strengths in the depth of several of our trials portfolios (which include breast, urological, gynae, head & neck and lung, amongst other rare cancers), where our senior methodologists are recognised for their specialist knowledge and contribution to the international trials landscape (radiotherapy: Professor Emma Hall ; breast cancer: Professor Judith Bliss) where our sustained partnerships with clinical key opinion leaders nationally have resulted in an exemplary record of delivering practice changing trials. We are uniquely positioned to draw on pre-clinical and drug discovery science and have a close and established partnership with the ICR/RM’s world leading Drug Development Unit, with whom we co-lead first in human and early phase trials, translating world-leading science rapidly to the clinic by driving therapeutic innovations using our specialist expertise in efficient adaptive trial methodology led by Professor Christina Yap.

Our expertise in intervention assessment includes novel targeted drugs and immunotherapy, hormonal therapies and chemotherapy, radiotherapy (including advanced targeted technologies), drug-drug and drug-radiotherapy combinations, imaging technologies and diagnostics/companion diagnostics. 

Working with investigators across the UK and abroad, we have experience in:

  • successful development, implementation and delivery of basket, umbrella and platform trial designs

  • novel early phase designs

  • Bayesian designs in rare cancers

  • threshold-crossing cohort designs for treatment de-intensification

  • the incorporation of biomarkers into trial design for treatment selection and/or monitoring biological changes or response to treatment. 

Maximising our data use

We maximise the use of our participants' data with the aim of gaining further understandings of mechanisms of action and markers of treatment sensitivity or resistance. Our embedded expert genomics analysis team led by Dr Maggie Cheang enables us to be true academic partners in forward and reverse translation; their outputs provide new biological insights, maximising and exploiting biological and clinical data from our trials. Her team of statistical, computational and translational scientists identifies clinically relevant biomarkers and aims to develop reliable contextual-based AI algorithms integrating -omics data with patient outcomes.

Methodology research

Further areas of interest include imaging biomarkers, patient reported outcomes, and use of information routinely collected by the NHS to streamline trial data collection.

We are also exploring enhanced methods for patient and public involvement and initiatives to improve equality, diversity and inclusion.

PhD studentships

Our PhD studentships benefit from inter-disciplinary clinical and methodology supervisory teams. Students are involved in real-life development and implementation of novel aspects in our clinical trials.

Our clinical trials

Find out about our clinical trials.

Our clinical trials

Clinical trials methodology research

Our applied methodology research portfolio investigates best practice in trial design, conduct, analysis and reporting.

Clinical trials methodology

Early phase adaptive designs

We aim to help get new drugs safely, effectively, and as quickly as possible to patients for whom they can be life-changing.

Early phase adaptive designs

Integrative genomic analysis and digital pathology

We analyse large datasets generated from clinical trial samples to study the underlying biology of tumours.

Integrative genomic analysis and digital pathology