Memorandum submitted by Professor Stan
Kaye, CRC Professor of Medical Oncology, The Royal Marsden, London
The move to a new position at The Royal Marsden
Hospital in London is giving me a new perspective on the changing
situation, since there are clearly different structures in place
in England and Scotland. This is probably the most important observation
that I could make, ie the regrettable lack of a single structure
for going forward in (clinical) cancer research in the UK.
The N.C.R.I. has got off to an excellent start
(I am a member of the steering group for the N.C.R.N.), but it
would be better still if it covered the whole of the UK rather
than England. The recently-initiated N-TRAC has the same limitation.
Overall, however, progress in the first year has been very good,
thanks particularly to the efforts of Peter Selby.
Cancer research networks are still at an early
stage of development in many parts of the country, but enthusiasm
appears to be at a high level. It would be important not to make
the mistake of assuming that the quality of patient care will
improve simply by putting in place research networks, without
the crucial investment in staff and equipment for cancer services.
So far, there is no sign of additional (new) funding of any significant
Professor Stan Kaye
6 December 2001