Patient Engagement Day takes place for Cancer Trials Centre
26 June 2023
Last Friday (23 June) saw the CR UK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre (CTC) host its first Patient Engagement Day, an event aimed at bringing together people involved in clinical trials, both as researchers and patients, for a day of interactive discussion, panels, and workshops.

Taking place at UCL's Institute of Education, a diverse range of panellists and attendees travelled from across the UK and Europe to take part in the event.

Dr Giulia Pellizzari, Lecturer and Education Lead at the CTC and organiser of the Patient Engagement Day, explains further: "Having spoken to our patient representatives, we felt the need to offer a programme for the day which went beyond a series of scientific talks. There was a real focus on the sharing of individual experiences and interactive discussion, and I think this benefitted all of us who attended. 

"As a cancer research academic, I believe it is crucial that we, as scientists, researchers and trial professionals, come out of the ivory tower and engage in conversations with the patients and communities at whom our research is aimed."

Topics covered during the day included inequalities in cancer care access and why diversity in research is important, as well as issues such as patient consent and how an individual's quality of life is measured when they take part in a trial.

Eddie Carr, a patient representative for the CTC who also spoke at the event, felt the day was a success: "It appears that from the top downwards the CTC is keen to engage and sincerely listen. CTC staff recognise the importance and benefits of greater public interaction and engagement.

"Health research is best served and improved when many voices are heard and a greater diversity of voices is an important factor in the pursuit of addressing and reducing known health inequalities."

Giulia is due to analyse the responses to a questionnaire that was completed by patients during the event, which looks to provide new insight on how Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) can impact rates of recruitment and retention in clinical trials. A full write-up of the event will be published on the UCL Translational Research Office (TRO) blog in due course, in collaboration with Patient and Public Involvement in Research Associate Linda von Nerée.

Meanwhile, research coordinated by the CTC continues to have an impact, with findings from its CRUK-funded lung cancer study TRACERx appearing recently in the journal Nature

A list of activities from Friday's event can be found here.

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