Aims: The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is part of a UK-wide cancer research network funded by the NHS and a number of UK Cancer Charities. There are 22 NCRI Clinical Studies Groups (CGSs), including a Psychosocial Oncology CSG. The aim of this paper was to review the contribution and success of this group since its inception in 2004.
Method: The CSG has developed a number of roles to support UK-based psychosocial oncology research. We reviewed: (a) the number of studies registered on the CSG Trials Portfolio, (b) the number of UK cancer patients who have been recruited into registered studies, and (c) the research-generating activities of the CSG.
Results: There are 32 studies currently registered on the CSG Trials portfolio; 27 of which are actively recruiting patients. Including those studies which have been registered and are now closed to recruitment, this equates to recruitment of 24,780 patients into registered psychosocial oncology studies since 2004. Three sub-groups (Transition from Active Therapy; Living with Cancer; Symptoms and Side-Effects) meet twice yearly to generate new ideas for psychosocial oncology research, many of which have received external funding. We also provide pre-submission peer-review for UK psychosocial oncology researchers seeking funding for new studies.
Conclusion: The NCRI Psychosocial CSG has a crucial role in UK cancer research. By ongoing registration of studies we can track what research is being conducted, ensure that no unnecessary replication is occurring, and monitor the total number of patients recruited. The sub-groups provide an essential funded mechanism by which multicenter collaboration can be fostered as they allow expert researchers, clinicians, methodologists and health professionals from around the UK to regularly meet to discuss and develop new research. These sub-groups also fulfill a capacity building role and are being successfully used to mentor junior psychosocial oncology researchers in the UK.