ILCC Research

The importance of lung cancer research

The goal of lung cancer research is to improve the lives of those impacted by this disease. Lung cancer research happens in many different ways, from finding things out in the laboratory and translating those findings into better ways to treat the disease. This is known as the ‘Bench to Bedside’ approach.

Cancer research and clinical trials are essential for enhancing early detection, and treatment. Recent research has resulted in new ways to diagnose the disease and a number of new treatment options. Thanks to these advancements the survival rate of people with lung cancer in Ireland has improved.

There are many types of cancer research, some of which are described below.

Types of Cancer Research

Basic Research

The goal of basic research is to ask fundamental questions (How? What? Why?). The purpose of this type of research is to gain an understanding on how things work, for example; why does a cancer cell grow so fast?

Translational Research

The goal of translational research is to translate basic science discoveries more quickly and efficiently into practice. Translational research encourages interactions between laboratory and clinical researchers, and also incorporates the needs of the general public.

This type of research is often classified by the stage of translation (from beginning research to societal application and impact). The Translational Spectrum (T spectrum) illustrates the different stages of translational research.

Clinical Trials

The goal of clinical trials is to test if new drugs or interventions are safe and effective in treating a disease. Clinical trials are performed in a number of different phases. Phase I trials test the best way and best dose to give a new treatment. Phase II trials test if a new treatment is effective in treating a particular disease. Phase III trials compare the results of people taking the new treatment with the results of people taking the standard treatment. Phase IV trials are performed following the approval and marketing of a new treatment. This phase is performed with thousands of people to look for side effects that were not seen in the phase III trial.

Clinical Trials Ireland and the European Union Clinical Trials Register provides a list of all the ongoing clinical trials currently open in Ireland.

Public and Patient Involvement

Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in research is defined by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) as ‘‘research carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them.’’ This broadly means cancer researchers working in partnership with people impacted by cancer and the public to develop, design, mange, conduct, disseminate and translate research. Basically this means that PPI can shape what research is done (from start to finish), how it is undertaken and to help inform the public about the research results. In Ireland, we have a PPI Ignite Network, which promotes excellence and inspires innovation in PPI in health and social care research. You can find out more about the PPI Ignite Network here and more about PPI in this RCSI/ILCC webinar.