How do you prioritise research?
How do "research boffins" prioritise research into prostate cancer? Is it to find what causes it? To prevent it happening? To find a cure? To find what causes aggressive or indolent disease? Or to develop new drugs?
Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research, Prostate Cancer UK:
I think it's two things. Scientists themselves have great ideas about what needs to be done, based on results of previous research. And there are also funders, like Prostate Cancer UK, who say: ‘We think this needs to be done, can someone go and do it?’.
Overall, the direction of research comes from men with prostate cancer who tell us what the important questions are, researchers who can answer those questions, and funders who can provide the funding in order that research takes place.
At Prostate Cancer UK, we’re in the process of trying to link these groups together to form a research strategy group made up of men with prostate cancer, clinicians, and basic scientists. And together they will prioritise areas of research for us to fund in the coming years.
In terms of looking for a cure… well, there are still some questions that even with the best will in the world, we just don't have the tools available through research to answer yet. I think we have to look at many other areas first, because there are still so many unknowns about prostate cancer.
Find out more about our research strategy.