Research is vital in the fight against cancer and Friends of the Cancer Centre is the leading local cancer charity funding research right here in Northern Ireland.

Friends of the Cancer Centre is playing a major part in the fight against cancer through the various projects funded by the charity.

The charity is a proud partner with the NI Cancer Trials Network and the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s University, investing over £2 million in clinical trials in recent years. We also fund doctors who are heavily involved in research, as well as vital equipment which allows some of the leading local scientists to carry out potentially life-saving work.

Most importantly, the money that we put into research stays in Northern Ireland and benefits local people. Here are just some of the ways we are supporting cancer research locally.

Professor Suneil Jain

Consultant Clinical Oncologist
Professor Jain is a senior oncologist in the Cancer Centre and as well as treating patients, he is also heavily involved in prostate cancer research.  His current research focuses on exploiting prostate cancer’s sensitivity to large doses of radiotherapy, with the aim that this will improve cure rates in patients.

Michael Hanna

Senior Data Manager
Michael has a vital role within the clinical trials team, working with consultants and researchers to progress trials which are being developed by local research teams. This includes the design and structuring of new clinical trial databases, management of the clinical trials data team, and reporting on all clinical trials data.

Jo McAllister

Clinical Trials Practitioner
Jo plays a key role in the establishment and governance of each clinical trial that is facilitated at the NI Cancer Trials Network. Jo also deals with financial procedures for clinical trials and ensures that the NICTN is operating within the key governance and legislation processes for research.

Sara McCusker

Clinical Research Nurse
Taking part in a clinical trial can be a difficult decision and a key part of Sara’s role is to support patients through the decision making process to ensure that they make a choice which is right for them.  Once enrolled, Sara is then on hand to support patients during their treatment, ensuring that they are informed and safe throughout. 

Una Wilson

Clinical Research Nurse
Una works within the team at the NI Cancer Trials Network and her role involves tailoring care for each individual patient taking part in a clinical trial. She screens and selects patients who are suitable for haematology trials, and once patients opt in to taking part, Una acts as a key contact point and co-ordinates their care throughout.  

Amy Steele

Clinical Research Nurse
Amy works at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, caring for young patients taking part in clinical trials. She supports young people, parents and families to help them in making the decision to take part in a clinical trial and guides them through the trial.

Lynn McCourt

Clinical Research Radiographer
Lynn works within the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network and is an integral part of the clinical trials team, coordinating many local and national radiation oncology trials. Lynn plays a key role in adopting new clinical trials into the radiotherapy department – ensuring patients have access to the latest radiotherapy clinical trial treatments

Fiona McCartan

Clinical Research Radiographer
Fiona works as part of the team in Radiotherapy and within the NI Cancer Trials Network. She helps to safely integrate new trials into the department and provides support for patients taking part in Radiotherapy trials.

Ellen Brown

Clinical Trials Pharmacy Technician
Ellen works within the pharmacy team helping to safeguard trial subjects, healthcare professionals and the Trust by procuring, handling, using and storing investigational medicinal products in accordance with the requirements of the approved protocol, relevant guidelines and regulations. Ellen has been trained in and has experience of Good Clinical Practice.

Diane Holland

Research & Development Radiographer
This post has been funded by the charity for over 15 years, with Diane most recently taking up the role in February 2020. Diane plays a lead role in supporting continuous improvement and modernisation within the radiotherapy department. She also works to ensure that the radiotherapy department has the technical capability to support cancer trials for local patients.

Hannah Marshall

Research Assistant
Hannah works as part of the Radiotherapy Physics team at the NI Cancer Centre. She helps the wider multi-disciplinary team to implement and develop new treatments, equipment and imagery.
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