Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre Launch


The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre (NICTC), formerly known as the Northern Ireland Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, launches its new name, logo and web-site.

The co-ordinating centre for cancer clinical trials in Northern Ireland (NICTC) based at Belfast City Hospital, is a joint project between our Trust and Queen’s University Belfast. The work of the Centre is funded by the Health and Social Care Research & Development Division of the NI Public Health Agency and by the charities Cancer Research UK and the Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Professor Bernie Hannigan, Director of HSC Research & Development, welcomed the launch saying “Cancer clinical trials are essential for continued progress towards even more effective treatments and care for patients with cancer. “We applaud the significant achievements being made by clinicians and researchers based in Northern Ireland”.

Dr Richard Wilson, the Centre’s Clinical Director said “clinical trials allow the development of personalized medicine specifically targeted to each individual and their cancer. Last year over 1,100 patients in N. Ireland took part in our clinical trials or other high quality cancer research studies”.

A patient from Bangor, who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2008 noticed that a mole on his wrist had changed in shape and colour. Aware of the significance of these changes, he promptly had it checked out and removed in December of that year.

Due to further necessary treatment it appeared the patient’s body was becoming resistant to drugs. He was referred for a clinical trial, he began a trial with a combination of chemotherapy and a molecular targeted drug. This approach has been very helpful so far and scans show all skin lesions have gone, but there were some remaining in his lung.

Following his trial therapy a close check is being kept on the patient every eight weeks. “I am fortunate to have been able to take part in a trial, as it gave me the opportunity to not only help myself, but others” added the patient

Cancer Research UK Lead research Nurse Anne Croudass said she was delighted to be in Northern Ireland to represent the charity.

“We fund the highest quality research into the treatment causes and prevention of cancer. It is through supporting Scientists, Doctors and Nurses, such as those here in Northern Ireland, that we continue to improve outcomes for cancer patients."

The NICTC is also launching a strategy to increase personal and public involvement in cancer research in Northern Ireland.

Anyone living with or beyond cancer, or relatives or carers may want to consider getting involved in helping to influence cancer research.

If you are interested in finding out more, you are invited to get in touch with NICTC. You can find details at the web-site or by contacting Ruth Boyd, Cancer Research UK Senior Nurse at the NICTC Tel: 028 9026 3903 (BCH Ext 3903) or e-mail

Contact Details:
East Podium, C-Floor, Belfast City Hospital
Tel: 028 90 263903 (BCH Ext. 3903)