Collaboration in action!

The CanTest Collaborative gathered in London last week for a stimulating series of meetings at the Royal College of General Practitioners. Joining UK-based colleagues were international partners from the US and Australia. We were also delighted to welcome back Prof Stephen Taplin from California, to chair CanTest’s first External Stakeholder Group meeting.

Over the course of four days the team shared progress and ideas, refined the research agenda and further developed plans for next year’s educational programme, with substantial progress made across the remit of the collaboration.

As well as considering the results of the systematic review of conceptual frameworks for evaluating diagnostic strategies for early detection of cancer, identifying specific programmes of work for our new postdoctoral and clinical research staff and developing processes for prioritising projects, potential topics for institutional PhDs were also identified.

Professor Willie Hamilton, co-principal investigator based at the University of Exeter Medical School, and research lead said:

“The opportunity to get everyone around the table to talk about their own research strengths and interests means these are being used in a way that enhances the international programme as a whole, and ensures that as broad a remit as possible is covered by our work. From these discussions we now have a clear idea of what a CanTest project looks like and have several examples moving forward.”

Significant advances were also made in the development of our capacity building plans, including work on next year’s International School for Cancer Detection Research in Primary Care.  Dr Fiona Walter brought the group up to date with the extensive work already undertaken by the Faculty team. Co-principal investigator and educational lead based at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Dr Walter praised the input from the wider group in helping to further refine the proposed curriculum and planned learning outcomes. She said:

“The CanTest Faculty Group have been working hard over the summer to develop the ‘unique selling points’ for our new annual week-long International School, plus the curriculum to deliver these aims. We were delighted to be able to share this work with our CanTest colleagues. They were very supportive and also full of ideas on how to enhance the programme. From the end of October we will be inviting people to attend the first International School, to be held in Cambridge UK in April 2018.”

Senior Faculty, including our chair Prof Greg Rubin, greeted our External Stakeholder Group and brought members up to speed with CanTest’s purpose, progress and direction of travel. This group will provide independent oversight and advice on the strategic and scientific direction of the collaborative, and is comprised of internationally renowned researchers and clinical specialists, as well as patient representatives.

The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, not only for the excellent organisation of the programme of meetings, but also for the substantial progress in furthering the work of the collaboration. The management team would like to thank all those who attended for their hard work and valuable input over the four days.

We will be sharing further details of our developing research programme and capacity building opportunities soon, so please do follow us on Twitter for forthcoming news.

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