Report to the NHS Central Research & Development Committee
Executive Summary

  1. The NHS Research and Development Priorities in Cancer Advisory Group of the Central Research and Development Committee (CRDC) was established in November 1993 to identify and rank priorities for research and development relating to cancer that are of importance to the NHS. The Advisory Group was chaired by Professor Peter Selby, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, and comprised 15 members with expertise in the organisation, management and delivery of cancer services and in research into cancer. This was the fifth exercise to identify research and development (R&D) needs in an area of top priority within the NHS R&D Programme.
  2. The Advisory Group recommends 25 R&D priority areas in relation to cancer. Criteria for selection included the burdens and costs to patients, carers and the NHS, possible benefits from research and research feasibility. The 25 priorities are listed in Table 1 and at Annex 9 with an accompanying set of justifications. The priorities are presented as either very high priorities or high priorities. They are ordered to reflect the natural chronological progression of the illness of cancer.
  3. The Advisory Group makes additional recommendations. They concern: the need to maintain a comprehensive infrastructure for clinical trials through the collaboration of all interested parties, including the NHS; the need for a thorough examination, including overviews, of existing randomised trials for cancer management; the need to recognise the importance of cancer registries as a valuable research tool and also for planning and monitoring cancer services; and studies on the economic costs of cancer to the NHS. In addition, in order to help with the commissioning of the research, the Group advises a search be made for present or imminent research activity in the areas of the 25 priorities.
  4. The report details the membership of the Advisory Group, its remit and the history of how the list of priorities was created.

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