The number of patients benefiting from clinical research trials at The Christie has almost doubled in the past year.

New figures published  by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) show that Manchester’s specialist cancer centre had 76% more participants involved in clinical research studies in the past year.

In 2016/17, a total of 1,879 participants were recruited to clinical trials that were being supported and delivered by the NIHR Clinical Research Fund at The Christie compared to 1,066 in 2015/16. This was The Christie’s most successful year for recruiting to NIHR clinical trials.

The figures demonstrate that The Christie remains one of the most active clinical research NHS organisations in the UK, second overall for cancer research in the UK according to the 2016/17 NIHR research activity league table.

The NIHR league table, published annually, shows the extent of research activity across all NHS trusts and clinical commissioning groups in England, providing a picture of how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of trusts, and involving how many participants.

John Radford, Professor of medical oncology and director of research at The Christie, said: “I am delighted that more Christie patients have had the opportunity to participate in NIHR funded research studies during the last year. Participants may not only improve their own health outcomes but are contributing to improving cancer treatments for others in the future. We want to offer all our patients the widest range of clinical trials involving the most promising new cancer therapies.”

“In additional to our success with NIHR funded clinical trials, The Christie is one of the biggest UK centres for early phase clinical trials, which provide access to the very latest experimental therapies for our patients. We also enjoy strong working relationships with colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry. Our overall aim is to work with all our partners to develop the treatments of the future with a view to improving survival and quality of life for everyone diagnosed with cancer.”

One of the patients at The Christie who has benefited is lung cancer trials patient, Carole Lanham from Bolton. “The Christie, which is so research focused and proactive in promoting clinical trials to patients who may be eligible, is a real regional asset,” she said. “I have always been keen to participate in any clinical trial and have been exceptionally well monitored throughout. I am pleased to be able to provide data for research purposes.”

Wes Dale, general manager in the medical director’s office at The Christie, added: “We are very grateful for the support from NIHR. As a specialist cancer centre, this support allows us to deliver complex clinical trials and we believe we offer our patients one of the largest portfolios of clinical trials available to cancer patients anywhere in the UK.”

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked ‘Outstanding’ by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which referred to it as ‘exceptional’ and ‘a leader in its field’. It not only commended the Trust for its effectiveness and care, but highlighted its work in shaping the future of cancer care and noted the reach and influence of its clinical research projects. The CQC also rated The Christie the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.