This year the NCRI’s annual cancer conference was in Glasgow for the first time. The MCRC team took a trip north of the border to catch up with the rest of the UK’s cancer research community. Here are some of our highlights.
During Sunday’s opening session, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed delegates to the city and emphasised the importance of research and innovation to the country’s £100m national cancer strategy.
Following the initial plenary, we were on hand to offer coffee to the crowds in the exhibition hall.
In ‘melanoma discovery and medicine’, Professor Richard Marais from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute reminded us of the importance of BRAF mutations in melanomagenesis. He went on to share some exciting unpublished data from his lab.
Dr Mark Saunders from The Christie presented at the silent theatre – we thought this was a great way for researchers to share their poster with other delegates.
On Monday, Dr Leanne Ogden, a Clinical Research Fellow in nephrology, showcased the work of our digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team investigating the feasibility of home renal monitoring to enable more patients to take part in clinical trials – a project in collaboration with the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s renal medicine team.
Dr Rebecca Lee, who only the week before had passed her PhD viva, was awarded the McElwain translational research prize by the Association of Cancer Physicians. As a prize winner, she gave a fascinating oral presentation on her work developing circulating tumour DNA as a tool to guide clinical decision making in melanoma.
Finishing the day, Dr Claus Jorgensen, another Institute scientist, toured us through his research in pancreatic cancer. Claus’s group are particularly interested in the interplay between tumour cells and the surrounding stroma, and his talk sat perfectly in a ‘best of translational research’ session that featured speakers from near (Glasgow) and far (New York).
For the final day of the conference on Tuesday, Rebecca Fish entered the silent theatre to talk about the CORMAC project developing a consensus on outcome mesures for clinical trials in anal cancer.
A special interactive session on ‘Advances in pancreatic and biliary tract cancers’ saw Dr Juan Valle and Dr Mairead McNamara from The Christie both speak about the latest research findings in this disease of unmet need.
Rounding things off we had the parallel, and tough, choice of Professor Kaye Williams on radiation and the tumour microenvironment or Professor Stephen Taylor sharing his work on novel models and targets in high grade serous ovarian cancer.
All the while at our stand, we had some great conversations with many who attended and really enjoyed sharing our opportunities and achievements with delegates from around the world.
See you next year?