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A key aim of the Department of Oncology is the optimal translation of fundamental research into patient benefit and for Oxford to become the leading centre for translational early-phase oncology trials in the UK.

A key aim of the Department of Oncology is the optimal translation of fundamental research into patient benefit. Precision cancer medicine brings together the concepts of biological selection of therapy with anatomical and functional targeting of treatment to deliver the best possible outcomes for a patient with cancer.

The Department works closely with colleagues in the state-of-the-art NHS Oxford Cancer and Haematology Centre to ensure that opportunities for collaborative research are maximised and that research is rapidly and efficiently translated into cutting-edge clinical treatment for cancer patients.

Translation of our research into clinical trials is achieved by supporting academic investigators to develop and deliver their studies to the highest standards and within competitive timelines. To achieve this the Department is supported by dedicated clinical trials teams:

The Oncology Clinical Trials Office (OCTO) works with investigators to develop protocols and grant applications leading to delivery of single and multi-centre trials both within the UK and internationally.  OCTO specialises in early phase, multi-modal, science rich clinical trials. Our expert trial management staff support investigators throughout the trial from protocol development, to securing necessary approvals, developing data collection systems, set-up of NHS study sites (including EPCTU) for participant recruitment, through to data analysis and publication.  

The Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit (EPCTU) is specialist clinical team based within the NHS Oxford Cancer and Haematology Centre. The EPCTU is one of the largest in the UK, hosting approximately 70 phase I/II trials every year.  The EPCTU is part of the UK ECMC network and, as such, receives ECMC-funding to appoint research staff and maintain its GCP laboratory, the latter providing biomarker development to accompany academic studies.

Our dedicated early phase unit is staffed by trained cancer nurses and provides patients with a comfortable environment in which to receive novel agents. Adjacent to the ward is our sample handling lab where a dedicated laboratory team ensure the correct preparation of patient PK/PD samples. As well as senior Phase I consultants, we have clinical fellows providing expertise in managing patients and ensuring protocol compliance.

EPCTU and OCTO work closely to provide the ideal environment for translational and cross-disciplinary studies such as chemotherapy, chemo-radiotherapy, immunotherapy, imaging or biomarker driven projects.

Related Links

Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit (EPCTU) Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit - Oxford

The Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit (EPCTU) aims to support the translation of research findings in to clinical practice.


OCTOOncology Clinical Trials Office (OCTO)

The Oncology Clinical Trials Office (OCTO) provides clinical trial management support to investigators across the CRUK Oxford Centre to manage trials from concept to completion.