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Research and Innovation

The Research & Innovation Programme at RM Partners supports the primary aims of the NHS Long Term Plan, which are to focus on making improvements to early diagnosis, improve the quality of life and patient experience outcomes, and reduce variation and inequalities.

The programme focuses on:

  • Real world implementation of innovations (technology or behavioural), where scale of Alliance patient population and clinical engagement and partnership drives rapid adoption and spread.
  • Assessment of clinical utility defining role of biomarkers in early diagnosis of cancer; and generating evidence base for regulatory approval of innovations as exemplified by the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT).
  • Close working partnership with academic universities (Imperial College London and The Institute of Cancer Research, London) and other key stakeholders (Biomedical Research Centres, Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) and the Convergence Science Centre) to identify emerging discoveries to apply into clinical setting. Key to partnership is the opportunity for the alliance to lead on clinical biobanking to drive continual improvements in innovations and breakthroughs.


Remit of Cancer Alliance Research & Innovation

Areas of research and innovation that we support are illustrated in the figure above, including assessment of clinical utility, i.e. defining role of biomarkers in early diagnosis of cancer; generating evidence base for regulatory approval of innovations, i.e. artificial intelligence to triage suspected cancers; or piloting innovation where regulatory approvals are already in place, but poorly adopted into clinical pathways.

Some of the projects and workstreams include:

  • ACCESS project
  • Capsule Sponge pilot. Capsule Sponge (previously called Cytosponge) is a new test being piloted to increase earlier diagnosis of oesophageal cancer. It can help identify conditions such as Barrett’s oesophagus, which can increase the risk of developing this type of cancer. The small sponge is swallowed by the patient and when removed using a string, collects cells for analysis.
  • Colon Capsule Endoscopy. Colon capsule endoscopy is an innovative test which aims to diagnose cancers faster and reduce pressures on endoscopy services by offering eligible patients an alternative to colonoscopy. It uses a small capsule containing a camera that is swallowed to provide a view of the digestive system.
  • EUROPAC Registry of Hereditary Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer 
  • NICE FIT Study
  • Pan London Cancer Alliances Research Consortium 
  • RM Partners Research & Innovation Fund 2023/2024. The aim of the fund is to provide cancer researchers and clinicians in west London the opportunity to deliver significant projects that support the goals of the NHS Long Term Plan. Cancer Alliance research and innovation includes evidence-generating clinical trials, or real-world implementation of innovations, where the scale of the alliance population and clinical engagement and partnership drives rapid adoption and spread.

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