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Warwick Wins £5 Million for New Cancer & Emergency Care Trials Unit

Researchers at the University of Warwick have been awarded more than £5 million in grants for clinical trials in cancer and emergency care. The Warwick Medical School Clinical Trials Unit (WMSCTU) has secured the funding from the National Coordinating Centre for Health Technology Assessment, which is part of the Department of Health’s Research and Development Division. The Health Technology Assessment programme works to provide anyone who makes decisions in the NHS with high-quality information on the costs, effectiveness and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests.

The unit will work on five projects, which include assessing the management of whiplash and investigating the use of breast cancer drug herceptin. The unit’s cancer team will co-ordinate the “PERSEPHONE” herceptin duration trial, comparing the effectiveness of the drug over 12 months compared to 6 months. It will also undertake a head and neck cancer trial (PET-NECK) looking at the role of PET-CT scanning, which is used to examine body tissue, when deciding if patients need a neck dissection.  

The Director of the Clinical Trials Unit, Sallie Lamb, Professor of Rehabilitation said:

“It is great that the cancer team are building on the existing strengths within the Medical School. The Clinical Trials Unit’s national Department of Health Trials both in cancer and emergency care are addressing vital questions about the nation’s health and wellbeing".

 Professor Janet Dunn was appointed as Head of Cancer Trials at Warwick Medical School 12 months ago and has brought an experienced team of clinical trial statisticians with her. Collaborative projects include several National Cancer Research Institute early breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer trials.  

Professor Dunn said the WMSCTU had expanded rapidly within the past year and it was enjoying great success in attracting grants and investment. She said: “This is an academic unit which is undertaking clinical trials addressing real issues of local, national and international importance. It is anticipated that we could double the existing 30 WMSCTU staff over the next five years. There is a real need for good evidence which is provided by running national multi-centre randomised clinical trials.”

For further information please contact:

Professor Janet Dunn 024 76 575847
Warwick Medical School 
University of Warwick

Kelly Parkes, Warwick Medical School  Communications Officer, 02476 150483

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick   07767 655860
02476 523708

PR18 PJD  19th March  2007