CanTest Director of Research, Willie Hamilton, chaired the session on optimising recognition and referral across the patient pathway in primary care, with international CanTest colleague Hardeep Singh. Speakers in this session highlighted the far from linear process involved in the recognition and referral of patients with cancer and tackled four specific themes – the patient, primary care, errors and pitfalls, and new roles for testing.
Prof Hamilton said:
“This session went really well and we were pleased with the high level of interest in our work, particularly from PPI. It generated a lot of thought-provoking questions from a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the cancer arena.”
The collaboration was particularly pleased to have Junior Faculty member Dr Garth Funston presenting early results from his CanTest PhD project during the proffered paper session. Dr Funston discussed the diagnostic performance of the CA125 blood test for ovarian cancer in general practice, from a population-based cohort study of over 50,000 women. Concluding that CA125 is a useful test for ovarian cancer, especially in women over 50 years old, the results of this work may be used by patients and clinicians to determine the estimated probability of having ovarian cancer at any CA125 level. This could help guide decisions on the need for further investigation or referral. Praised for his engaging delivery of this important work, Garth’s presentation follows the recent publication in BMC Cancer of his systematic review of international guidelines on the variation in the initial assessment and investigation for ovarian cancer in symptomatic women.
The NCRI annual conference is the UK’s largest forum showcasing the latest advances in cancer research. It hosts more than 50 educational sessions and provides an opportunity to network with leading oncology experts.
The NCRI is a UK-wide partnership of cancer research funders, established in 2001. Its member organisations aim to improve health and quality of life by accelerating progress in cancer-related research. This is done by working to coordinate research related to cancer, to improve the quality and relevance of the research and to accelerate translation of the research into clinical practice for the benefit of patients.