South East Scotland Cancer Research Network: an opportunity to expand

Author(s): Vivienne Wilson

After the introduction of the cancer research networks in Scotland in 2002, the opportunity arose to address the inequality of access to clinical trials for patients who live in rural areas and attend a district general hospital in the south east of Scotland. Working closely with local staff, a network nurse identified a suitable portfolio of studies appropriate to run in a hospital that previously had very limited trial activity. Funding was secured for a dedicated local research nurse to work with clinicians on a variety of cancer trials. As a result of this initiative, studies were opened and patients recruited to studies in breast cancer, leukemia, myeloma, lymphoma and colorectal cancer. Local governance and ethical requirements were addressed and patients are now being recruited to studies previously unavailable to them unless they were prepared to travel long distances for their treatment and follow up.