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EJC News Focus – July/August 2013

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Good times and bad for clinical trials research

Functional imaging and other new technologies are revolutionising the landscape for cancer research. The knowledge imparted by these techniques – from genetics, epigenetics, proteomics and so on – should mean that we're entering a new phase in our understanding and therefore treatment of the disease.

Yet many of the same old obstacles between lab and clinic remain. Clinical trials research is still dogged by regulatory issues, funding is a perennial problem, agreement on data protection has yet to be reached.

EORTC President Roger Stupp calls for the patient's point of view to move centre stage. While rarified discussions and debates take place, patients are waiting for clinical trials to be set up and for results to be integrated into clinical practice, he says. Here, he tells Helen Saul that speedy activation of trials is needed, as is funding for academic trials and, overall, a common sense approach which would allow the questions most relevant to patients, to be addressed.