This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

East of England NHS Trust is top recruiter for throat cancer study

The research team at NNUH.

Research teams at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH) are celebrating after becoming the top recruiters to an international head and neck cancer study.

CompARE is an international study and one of the largest head and neck cancer trials to have ever been undertaken, both in the UK and internationally. After eight years it has now finished recruiting patients, and NNUH have recruited more than any other centre taking part.

The CompARE study is a Phase 3 trial designed to investigate which treatment is most effective for patients who have higher-risk oropharyngeal cancer (a type of throat cancer).

The purpose of this study is to consider using additional treatments in conjunction with standard chemoradiotherapy to increase cure rates of higher-risk oropharyngeal cancer. This includes adding surgery or immunotherapy or more chemotherapy or higher dose radiotherapy to the standard chemoradiotherapy.

In total 794 patients from 35 centres are taking part in the research, with 73 from NNUH. Initial results will be available after patient outcomes are investigated.

The ComPARE study is funded by AstraZeneca UK and Cancer Research UK, and is supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Reflecting on the success, Dr Konstantinos (Dinos) Geropantas, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, said:

“This is a huge achievement for everyone delivering the study, including the head and neck MDT, the Research and Development team and the wider Oncology team.

“We’ve out-performed much larger centres and those who started recruitment months ahead of us. We are considered one of the best head and neck cancer centres in the UK and I am sure this achievement will add further to our reputation.

“Needless to say, this wouldn’t have been possible without our patients. We are extremely grateful to them. They have trusted our teams and their involvement will help improve clinical outcomes for future generations.”

Dr Bernard Brett, Interim Medical Director at NNUH, added:

“I am delighted to see that our head and neck cancer team, supported by the willingness of their patients, have managed to contribute so much to this important study.

“As a Trust we are keen to encourage active participation in research to not only improve the care for future patients but also because we know that research active hospitals tend to deliver better outcomes for patients in general. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication that has gone into achieving this.”

Find out how you can take part in research by visiting