Belfast ECMC facilitates effective translational research in experimental cancer medicine within the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen's University Belfast.
Belfast has GLP-standard core facilities providing expertise in clinical pharmacology, biological resources, genomics, bio-imaging and tissue pathology. Belfast also has expertise in multi-gene assays for patient stratification, biomaker-stratified studies and is part of the Northern Ireland Biobank.
The Belfast ECMC aims to:
NI Cancer Trials Network - http://www.nictn.hscni.net
The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) opened at Queens University Belfast in 2007. It is adjacent to the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre (NICC) at Belfast City Hospital (BCH) which opened in 2006 and houses the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre (NICTC). This is the first Comprehensive Cancer Centre on the island of Ireland and offers a major opportunity for high quality care and clinical research opportunities for cancer patients.
The close proximity and multidisciplinary integration between the Clinical Cancer Centre and CCRCB will drive translational research activity and deliver effective bench-to-bedside, and bedside-to-bench translational oncology. This will further promote the translation of scientific discoveries that result from our molecular, cell and biology programmes into useful diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre provides:
The content of the Centre is summarised below.
Within the CCRCB the research infrastructure is supported by expertise in a range of core technologies including:
Trial by disease type between 2012-2015:
Belfast ECMC has recently set up a trial of a new anti-angiogenic agent, ALM201, discovered at Queen’s University, Belfast. The first-in-man study in up to 60 patients with ovarian cancer will be run across the ECMC Network. ALM201 was developed into a drug in collaboration with Almac Discovery, a local biotechnology company.
Belfast ECMC is leading on the pan-European MErCuRIC project involving 13 partners from eight different European countries. This multicentre phase Ib/II clinical trial will assess the combination of a MEK inhibitor with a MET inhibitor to combat metastasis, improve survival and change current clinical practice for colorectal cancer patients with KRAS mutant and wild type tumours. Next generation sequencing and ‘xenopatients’ will be used to identify patient subgroups that will gain maximum benefit from this novel treatment strategy.
The MERCURIC trial has completed its dose escalation of the combination of cMET and MEK inhibitors. A limited dose escalation component will investigate the combination of our CMET inhibitor crizotinib with a new MEK inhibitor binimetinib. Once the recommended phase II dose and schedule are established, additional ECMCs will join us in late 2016 for the expansion phase limited to patients with biomarker-defined metastatic colorectal cancer.
The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre initiative is jointly funded by Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research in England and the Departments of Health for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.