Improving early diagnosis a 'key priority' for cancer research trials based in Southampton

A LEADING professor in ‘life saving’ cancer clinical trials that recruit patients and staff from Portsmouth says improving early diagnosis is a ‘key priority.’

By Fiona Callingham
Friday, 4th February 2022, 4:55 am

Professor Gareth Griffiths has spent his career in cancer clinical trial research, since joining the MRC’s Clinical Trials Unit in 1996 as a medical statistician, founding the Cancer Research UK Wales Cancer Trials Unit in 2005, and taking over as director of the Cancer Research UK Southampton Clinical Trials Unit since 2014 which now has a large portfolio of cancer trials.

In line with World Cancer Day and the 20th birthday of Cancer Research UK, he said: ‘Over the past 20 years we have seen huge advances in cancer diagnosis and treatments, thanks to research.

Read More

Read More
Plans for new children's medical centre revealed in Fareham's West Street for ol...

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Professor Gareth Griffiths director of the Cancer Research UK Southampton Clinical Trials Unit wearing a World Cancer Day bracelet

‘In particular, the growth in immunotherapy treatments that can boost the body’s own immune system to enable it to fight cancer. These mean that many patients, whose cancer would previously not have been treatable, are being offered alternative options that can not only potentially improve survival but also give them a better quality of life during treatment.

‘Another huge area of growth has been personalised medicine. Research in this field has meant that oncologists are now able to look at specific genetic markers or characteristics of a person’s individual cancer and tailor treatments to them as an individual, which are therefore more likely to be effective.

‘And here at the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, as in many other research centres, improving early diagnosis is also a key priority. Trials like our iDx Lung trial, which is aiming to improve the detection of lung cancer, will hopefully mean more people are diagnosed when their cancer is at an early stage and is therefore more treatable, ultimately saving lives in the future.’

He added: ‘Our trials unit receives core funding from Cancer Research UK which enables us to continuously develop new trial ideas for clinical trials with the aim of finding new treatments that will benefit our patient community, or ways to diagnosis cancer earlier so we have a greater chance to cure cancer.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.