What is research?

Research is a general term covering all types of studies, trials and questionnaires designed to find answers to important questions using logical and scientific approaches. All types of research are important to enable the development of innovative new treatments and care, so that treatment success and quality of life for all young people with cancer are maximised.

Cancer research takes different formats, and might:

  • be based in a laboratory, for example aiming to find out about how a tumour grows and spreads
  • take place in a hospital clinic or ward (clinical research) and focus on investigating how a treatment or procedure could be improved
  • take place at home using a questionnaire or during a face to face meeting, to find out how people with cancer or their carers cope with a diagnosis and what support they need whilst being treated.

Clinical trials test the effectiveness of and safety of new drugs and other treatments and are just one type of research. The UK Clinical Trials Gateway was set up by the UK Health Departments to host loads of information about open trials that might be suitable for you, just click here to go to the website.

What we fund

Professor of Teenage Cancer and team

We fund the country’s first Professor of Teenage Cancer Medicine and his team who lead on research into why young people get cancer and how best to treat it, ultimately improving diagnosis, treatment and survival rates. The team based in Manchester include:

  • Professor John Radford
  • Dr Kate Vaughan
  • Dr Martin McCabe
  • Ms Rachel Campsey

Meet the team

Research projects

Dr Dan Stark is the expert consultant leading on some exciting projects for Teenage Cancer Trust, focusing on improving outcomes for teenagers and young adults with cancer.

These projects include:

  • A European wide network project called ENCCA looking at the care young people with cancer receive across Europe, as well as providing and improving direct personalised care for young people, access to trials and the best technical and supportive care throughout treatment.
  • A project aiming to improve the care and support for teenagers and young adults with cancer when they experience emotional distress. A key aspect of this project is developing tools and methods to effectively identify and assess psychological distress and making sure it is tailored for teenagers and young adults.

National Cancer Research Institute Research Coordinator

Teenage Cancer Trust funds a full time Research Development Coordinator, Lorna Fern, whose work is part of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Teenage and Young Adult Clinical Studies Group.

This group is chaired by Professor Jeremy Whelan from UCLH in London. The group has identified six key areas of research which they focus on:

  • benchmarking trial availability and access
  • evaluating relevance and activity in other research and study groups
  • cancer registration for Teenagers and Young Adults
  • identifying priorities for health service research
  • survivorship and late effects issues
  • biological studies

Evaluation research 

We work closely with research centres who are experts in evaluating health services, particularly cancer care for teenagers and young adults. This helps to make sure we are funding the right services in the right way to help teenager and young people as much as possible.

Coventry University

We are currently piloting an exciting new service in some areas of the UK to ensure that young people who decide to receive their treatment in local hospitals still receive the best support and clinical care possible.

All aspects of the pilot are being evaluated by Professor Jane Coad and her team at the Centre for Children and Families Applied Research at Coventry University. The on-going evaluation is being carried out by working very closely the pilot team, NHS staff, patients and families to ensure we draw insights as this work progresses.

The final phase of evaluation will set out recommendations about how these new nursing service models and roles can be taken forward.


How we work

Clinical Advisory Group

This group provides independent expert advice to Teenage Cancer Trust to help assist us in our delivery of services and activities. We want to ensure all Teenage Cancer Trust’s activities are based on robust clinical advice and professional judgement and ensure our processes are effective from a clinical perspective.

This group is made up of a range of expert clinicians, nurses and researchers from within the teenage and young adult cancer field as well as leading paediatricians, oncologists and healthcare professionals.

Teenage Cancer Trust policy on animal testing in cancer research

Teenage Cancer Trust is primarily a service delivery organization, developing ways of providing the best possible care and professional support for young people with cancer. We allocate a small percentage of our funds to research projects aimed at improving treatment and health services but do not fund any animal testing.