Cancer Research UK boost for promising doctor

One of the UK’s most promising cancer doctors has received a prestigious award from Cancer Research UK to fund crucial research to develop and test urgently-needed treatments which use the body’s natural defences to target cancer.

The Cancer Research UK clinical trial fellowship award provides funding for up to two years and will enable Dr Victoria Woodcock to train at the Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit at the Churchill Hospital site.

Dr Woodcock will gain skills and experience to design and lead clinical trials of the newest and most promising cancer medicines – to save more lives from the disease in the future.

Clinical trials are a vital part of cancer research. They are the best way to find out if a new treatment or procedure is safe, is better than the standard treatment or helps reduce side effects for patients.

Dr Woodcock’s work will focus on immunotherapy drugs – which use the body’s natural defences to attack cancer cells. These treatments hold great promise by looking for ways to teach the immune system to ‘remember’ the cancer and stop it coming back.

Dr Victoria Woodcock, Cancer Research UK clinical trial fellow, said: “As a cancer researcher it’s exciting to help develop drugs which I hope could one day save thousands of lives – it’s a great feeling. With this support and training in a clinical trials unit I’ll be able to design crucially important studies that will test new, more effective ways to treat cancer.”

Dr Ian Walker, Cancer Research UK’s director of clinical research, said: “In order to develop future cancer treatments we must invest in scientists and doctors – which is why we’re supporting talented doctors like Victoria through this programme.

“We fund more than 250 clinical trials across the UK, which cover a wide range of treatments including radiotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy – with more than 27,000 patients taking part in one of our trials last year.

“We believe research like this to design and run new clinical trials of promising treatments will accelerate progress and increase survival from cancer.”