On January 13th 2016, the Consortium Management Group of S:CORT met at the University of Leeds. As part of our outreach strategy, a public engagement event “Stratified Medicine – Providing Hope for Cancer Patients” took place at the Thackray Medical Museum. Speakers included Alf Oliver who related his experiences as a bowel cancer survivor and Prof Mark Lawler (Public Engagement Lead) who gave a presentation entitled “Personalising Treatment for Cancer Patients”.
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the “Virtual Tour of the Cancer Cell” by Prof Phil Quirke (University of Leeds) who demonstrated the very latest advances in dissecting the intricacies of the cancer cell with the Pathology PowerWall (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZGkhKkDG5o). Audience participation in exploring the virtual cancer cell greatly enhanced the occasion.
“The Pathology Powerwall is an extremely effective approach to interrogate the cancer cell in the level of detail required to deliver the optimal benefit to the cancer patient”, said Prof Quirke. “It also acts as a unique education tool for trainees and a powerful visual aid for the public”, he added.
Following the presentations and virtual tour, Alf, Mark and Phil were joined by Deborah Alsina (CEO Bowel Cancer UK) and Ruth Boyd (Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum) for a lively panel discussion. Feedback from the audience was very positive, supporting the decision by S:CORT to co-host a Public Engagement Event in conjunction with the Consortium Management Group meeting at each participating centre during the lifetime of the programme.
Deborah Alsina (CEO Bowel Cancer UK) emphasised her organisations support for the activities of S:CORT. “We are delighted to be a partner in the S:CORT Consortium. It aligns perfectly with Bowel Cancer UK’s commitment to research and looks to translate 21st century science for the benefit of bowel cancer patients”, she said.