Queen’s Centre for Cancer Research

The presentation on Cancer Research: Advancing Patient Care was a quite fascinating overview of the kind of things that Queen’s get up to in the area of cancer research and treatment.

You might have expected that it would have become quickly very apparent that the various speakers came from different outfits within the university but in fact it wasn’t clear at all. Their work is so intertwined that the speaker from the School of Pharmacy could easily have been thought of as from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and for that matter the clinical talk could easily have fallen into the realm of the research talks.

As they pointed out, that’s just how it should be. Cancer isn’t defeated yet and so patient treatment is driven by the research done in the centre and in related centres of expertise in the university. Related centres even includes the physics and engineering departments as they provide input into the design of the various scanners and radiation therapy devices.

The line blurs even between the university, the hospital and the health trust with each needing to work closely with the others. It was good to see that InvestNI was putting money into a project that not only should help the local economy but which will also help those who need cancer treatments.

Much as I’d prefer not to be needing their help, it is reassuring that they pull together so many experts for every case coming along at their joint meeting. Actually, it was quite a surprise to see just how many people would be there to discuss possible treatments for each case that comes to them. I know that some people would feel a bit intiminated by having so many people discussing their medical condition but, given the stage of cancer treatment, it seemed like a very practical way to ensure that each patient gets the most appropriate treatment. It was also good to see that in the Q&A at the end that it seemed very much that any of them could have answered any of the questions ie they have a good knowledge of each others fields.

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