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New south London national specialty lead determined to deliver for patients

A new national NIHR cancer specialty lead is determined to hit the ground running in supporting cutting-edge research in south London and beyond.

Dr Richard Lee, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Champion for Early Cancer Diagnosis at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has been appointed as the NIHR's national cancer lead for screening, prevention and early detection. Dr Lee will combine his lead NIHR role for screening, prevention and early detection of cancer and non-cancerous conditions with his existing responsibilities.

Dr Lee is committed to working with others to drive forward research that will change people’s lives. He said:

“This new NIHR post will be a great way for me to extend upon our existing achievements at The Royal Marsden, where I will continue as a Consultant Respiratory Physician and Champion for Early Diagnosis, funded by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. For example, we have recently created a new Early Diagnosis and Detection Centre as part of the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and the Institute for Cancer Research that will facilitate national research studies in screening and early diagnosis.

“I’m very excited to take on the role as it is a new area of expertise for the NIHR Clinical Research Network. My first task will be to define the existing and evolving research studies that could benefit from shared expertise, and then to work closely with our stakeholders to develop priority areas that will focus efforts which will help to improve research delivery.

“Screening, Prevention and Early Detection (SPED) research is an absolute priority to achieve better cancer outcomes for all. Research suggests that one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, yet presently only half of those again will be at an early stage, when treatment is most effective, and in the majority of cases, more likely to be curable.”

According to Cancer Research UK statistics, around four in 10 cancer cases every year could be prevented, that’s more than 135,000 people every year.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network’s National Specialty Lead for Late Phase and International Cancer Trials Dr Pippa Corrie said:

“We are delighted to welcome Richard in taking up this new role leading on promotion and delivery of research involving screening, prevention and early detection of cancer. These research studies are crucial to the national aim of reducing cancer mortality through earlier intervention.

“Richard’s background in respiratory medicine brings an added strength in familiarity of working across specialties and we have every confidence that he will support the early detection of diseases other than cancer, linking together research leaders from widely different areas, and thinking outside the box.”

You can find out the latest news and updates about NIHR-supported cancer research via the organisation’s website. More information about Dr Lee is available on the NIHR’s Directory page.