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Project information

Doubling clinical trials for cancer patients

To create the world's largest clinical trials unit for early phase cancer trials at the Christie to speed up the development of new cancer drugs from laboratory research to the patient bedside and so give more cancer patients the opportunity to access innovative cancer drugs through clinical trials.

April 2011 - November 2011

Charity information: The Christie charity

The Christie charity logo
  • Need


    As one of the UK’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (The ECMS Network) we want to speed up the development of new cancer treatments to bridge the gap between treatments that look promising in the lab and when they can be given to patients. To increase clinical trial activity at The Christie, we need a new Clinical Trials Unit to provide 1st class care for trials patients and especially for those taking part in ‘first into man’ phase 1 trials who need to be closely monitored overnight.


    The first stage of our new trials facility was completed in 2010 and is the World’s largest early phase clinical trials unit (CTU). The next phase involves re-modelling an existing ward to create an in-patient suite with 6 single rooms. A dedicated in-patient ward is crucial to the level of phase I research we can undertake in future and is essential for complex and innovative trials such as gene and cell where patients need to be closely monitored but isolated from general wards therapy.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve clinical outcomes – more cancer patients being cured or living longer with their disease


    » The new facility will enable us to increase the number of clinical research teams at The Christie
    » More researchers means we will be able to undertake more commercial and investigator led trials
    » More trials = more Christie patients having access to novel therapies, more quickly than before

    What success will look like

    Success will be... achieving our short term goal to double the number of Christie patients currently offered trial therapy by 2014

    Aim 2

    Offer patients individual targeted therapies to reduce side effects and improve drug efficacy


    » Increase Biomarker research to better understand the biology of cancer so that patients can benefit from a tailored drug choice and modified dose

    What success will look like

    Success will be... an increase in the number of new Biomarker studies we are able to undertake once new researchers have been recruited and the new centre is working to capacity

    Aim 3

    To provide continuity of care for trials patients who need overnight observation


    » By providing a dedicated in-patient suite, patients will be cared for by their clinical research team – by people who know their medical history well

    What success will look like

    Success will be...that phase 2 of the construction project is delivered on time, in budget and with minimal disruption to patients and the general day to day work of the hospital

  • Impact


    Initially patients here in the North West will be the first to benefit from the increased portfolio of drugs tested at The Christie. Ultimately, many thousands of patients being treated in cancer centres around the UK and worldwide will also benefit from the outcome of our clinical trial activity as the research data is disseminated. Our ultimate aim is to develop the next ‘gold standard’ treatments for a range of cancers and so help cancer patients throughout the world.


    Should the construction programme be delayed causing a delay to the planned date for making the in-patient suite available to patients, then The Christie NHS Foundation Trust will continue to provide accommodation for trials patients on existing general wards.


    In addition to receiving written reports which could also include case studies, donors are welcome to visit our Clinical Trials Unit and to meet with our Director of Research to learn more about the trials that are ongoing at any particular time and for a tour of our impressive new facility.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £442,040

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £270,300 Patient rooms 6 x en-suite rooms
      £48,915 Patient areas Dayroom and Assisted bathroom
      £23,850 Nurse Base Reception and Nurse station
      £56,975 Utility Sluice rooms and storage
      £42,000 Equipment Includes medical equipment and furniture

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Women's Trust Fund £129,989 Guaranteed
    Direct Mail Appeal £77,836 Guaranteed
    Community Group £9,570 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Christie is a specialist cancer centre that serves a population of 3.2 million in the NW. As a national specialist for some rare and difficult to treat cancers, our reach is UK wide with 26% of patients being referred here from all areas of the UK. We treat approximately 40,000 patients per year including teenagers and young people who are treated on our Young Oncology Unit which is a specialist facility so that young cancer patients can be treated alongside others of their own age


    Initially patients in the North West will be the first to benefit from the increased portfolio of new cancer drugs available from The Christie. Ultimately, many thousands of patients being treated at cancer centres around the UK and worldwide will also benefit from the outcome of the clinical trial activity that will be disseminated from academic researchers, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) scientists and Christie experts, working collaboratively in the field of research, diagnosis and treatme

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Christie has been at the forefront in the fight against cancer for over 100 years and was the first centre in the world to trial the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen which is now saving lives the world over. Cancer research in Manchester has been ranked best in the UK by the government-led Research Assessment Exercise. This gives the highest possible endorsement to the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC), a unique partnership with the University of Manchester, CRUK and The Christie

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Professor John Radford

    Research and Development Director at The Christie and Professor in the Cancer Research UK Department of Medical Oncology.

    Professor Malcolm Ranson

    Leads a team of clinical and translational researchers conducting Phase I trials focused on apoptosis, cell signaling and biomarker development

    Professor Robert Hawkins

    Director of Medical Oncology at the University of Manchester and The Christie. His research interests are in gene and immunotherapy

    Helen Ferns

    Lead Research Nurse responsible for ensuring the quality of care for patients taking part in clinical trials at The Christie