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Research Strategy - THE PROSTATE CANCER CHARITY

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Research Strategy - THE PROSTATE CANCER CHARITY Powered By Docstoc
					Research Strategy (2010–2014)

Introduction
Our vision is of a world where lives are no longer limited by prostate cancer.
We will strive to achieve this by fighting prostate cancer on every front -
through research, support, information and campaigning.

Launched in 2008, The Prostate Cancer Charity’s organisational strategy,
“Transforming the future for prostate cancer”, directs everything we do. It sets
out the Charity's goals for 2020 and an ambitious set of targets that, if
achieved, we believe will make a significant difference to the lives of men
affected by prostate cancer, their families, partners and carers.

•   Goal 1 - By 2020, significantly more men will survive prostate cancer

•   Goal 2 - By 2020, society will understand the key facts about prostate
    cancer and will act on that knowledge

•   Goal 3 - By 2020, African Caribbean men and women will know more
    about prostate cancer and will act on that knowledge

•   Goal 4 - By 2020, inequalities in access to high quality prostate cancer
    services will be reduced

•   Goal 5 - By 2020, people affected by prostate cancer will have their
    information and support needs addressed effectively

Goal 1, in particular, directs this research strategy. Reducing the death rate
from prostate cancer is inextricably linked to investing in high quality bio-
medical and survivorship research. Through our research programme we will
drive towards (by 2020):

•   a 30% reduction in the death rate from prostate cancer

•   80% of all prostate cancers being accurately diagnosed at an early stage,
    when treatment is more likely to be successful

The Charity's specific commitments under Goal 1 are set out in Appendix 1
and are amplified, where relevant, in the remainder of this document.




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Context for research strategy

The Prostate Cancer Charity was founded by Professor Jonathan Waxman in
1996 to generate income for research and to raise awareness of prostate
cancer. Since that time, it has invested over £9 million in research. As the
Charity has grown and increased its national impact, it has adopted a
dispersed mode of research funding, supporting the highest quality research
wherever it is to be found within the UK. The first fully competitive, UK-wide,
independently peer reviewed call for research proposals was run in 2006 and
annual rounds of research funding have been allocated since.

Our research grant programme supports research across the whole prostate
cancer journey – including awareness, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and
quality of life. We believe that we have already made an important research
contribution to the prostate cancer cause and in 2010 we will be
commissioning a review of the outcomes of the research we have funded to
date.

Looking forward, the Charity is committed to increasing research funding
broadly in line with income growth and it is now time for further development
of our research investment strategy. This will ensure that our research
programme sits within the ambitious context of our 2020 Charity Strategy and
Goals and that we continue to add the greatest value to the global prostate
cancer research effort.


The Prostate Cancer Charity: Research Strategy 2010-2014

The following research strategy has been informed primarily by the
development of our 2020 goals and targets. It has also been informed by the
expertise of our Research Advisory Committee, our work within the broader
research community (for example, with the National Cancer Research
Institute), other charitable funders of prostate cancer research (including
those operating in Canada and the USA) and through a recent survey of the
research priorities of men affected by prostate cancer.

This 2010-2014 strategy sets out to increase the impact of our research
programme on a number of fronts:

•   Firstly, we have reviewed the focus of the programme with a view to
    concentrating funding on under-resourced and priority areas, such as
    applied research with the potential for clinical impact in the short-term (5
    years or less).

•   Secondly, this strategy sets a course that allows the Charity maximum
    flexibility in its funding arrangements, allowing us to respond dynamically




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     to changes in the research landscape and to maximise the impact of our
     programme through partnership and collaboration.

•    Thirdly, we emphasise a genuine commitment to greater involvement of
     people affected by prostate cancer in setting the agenda for our research
     programme.

•    Finally, the Charity undertakes to facilitate communication of research
     findings to a number of audiences, including healthcare specialists and
     men affected by prostate cancer.


Key strategic aims

Our key strategic aims for the period 2010-14 are to:

1.    Invest only in the highest quality research with the greatest potential
      impact for men affected by prostate cancer.

2.    Target research funding towards areas of unmet need, always seeking
      to identify under-resourced, but important, lines of research.

3.    Adopt flexible funding mechanisms enabling research to be carried out in
      the most effective way.

4.    Work in partnership with men affected by prostate cancer, other
      research funders and the research community to achieve the best
      possible outcomes in prostate cancer awareness, prevention, diagnosis,
      treatment and survival.

5.    Ensure that our funded research is communicated clearly and effectively
      to people affected by prostate cancer, the research community,
      healthcare professionals, policy makers, our donors and the general
      public.

6.    Continually monitor and evaluate the outcomes of our funded research
      and use this information to inform future research investment.

Detailed objectives for each aim are presented below.


Invest only in the highest quality research with the greatest
potential impact

The way in which the Charity's research investment is managed is of critical
importance in identifying high quality research for support. We will:




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•   Operate calls for research proposals on a fully competitive basis, open to
    researchers based in any university, research institution or NHS hospital in
    the UK

•   Ensure that all awards are subject to rigorous and independent peer
    review by international experts in cancer research as well as the Charity's
    own Research Advisory Committee (RAC)

•   Ensure that reviewers and the RAC assess applications against defined
    criteria, including potential impact, scientific quality, track record of the
    applicant, the research environment, involvement of men affected by
    prostate cancer in the research, and plans for the dissemination of results

•   Remain a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities
    (AMRC) - a recognised quality mark for our research programme and
    governance procedures

•   Ensure that the Charity's statement of values and principles continues to
    underpin our research programme (see Appendix 2)


Target research funding towards areas of unmet need, always
seeking to identify under-resourced but important lines of
research
The Charity must ensure that its research investment is used to achieve
greatest potential return for men affected by prostate cancer. This requires a
clear focus and some purposeful targeting of resources. We will:

•   Prioritise funding for research projects which offer the potential for short-
    term (<5 years) impact for men affected by prostate cancer

•   Target research funding at four key areas that have been identified as
    requiring greater investment and having significant potential impact:

              o Strategies for prostate cancer prevention

              o Improving diagnosis

              o Development of treatments for castrate resistant
                prostate cancer

              o Addressing the wider psychological and social impact of
                prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment (survivorship)

•   Seek to identify and support under-funded, 'Cinderella' areas of prostate
    cancer research which could yield important benefits for men affected by
    the disease




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Adopt flexible funding mechanisms enabling research to be
carried out in the most effective way
The Charity is determined to ensure that its research investment is managed
in a way most likely to add overall value to the prostate cancer research field,
both in the UK and, where appropriate, internationally. Flexibility in funding is
therefore essential. We will:

•   Progressively raise the cap on the maximum value of individual research
    applications which will be invited by the Charity. This cap will be raised to
    £500,000 in 2010/11 and will continue to be raised to 25% of the research
    budget in subsequent years

•   Expand existing funding schemes, as resource permits, to encompass
    other modes of funding. This could include pilot project schemes, longer-
    term funding, funding for infrastructure developments, for example, tissue
    banks, and equipment grants

•   Focus the Charity's competitive calls for research proposals on building
    prostate cancer research within the UK. Although researchers based
    primarily at overseas institutions will not be eligible to apply for funding,
    projects including an overseas component will be considered if they have
    a strong UK base

•   Fund international research where an area of research need is judged to
    be best addressed by a global approach. This will be undertaken primarily
    through the targeted collaborative initiatives of the Global Action Plan of
    the Movember Foundation (of which The Prostate Cancer Charity is the
    exclusive beneficiary partner in the UK)

•   Consider providing defined support to national collaborative projects, for
    example, the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI), where this
    has the potential to amplify the value of the Charity's financial investment

•   Encourage applications for pilot and feasibility study funding. Such short,
    targeted projects can provide particularly good value for money for the
    Charity and can be invaluable in helping researchers to develop a new line
    of investigation

•   View favourably funding those projects which offer significant added value
    to the research area of interest, for example, capacity and network building




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Work in partnership with men affected by prostate cancer,
other research funders and the research community to
achieve the best possible outcomes in prostate cancer
awareness, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survival

As the UK's leading charity working with people affected by prostate cancer,
we have an important role to play as a catalyst in bringing about vital
improvements in our area of influence, working with a variety of stakeholders.
We will:

•   Seek the views of men affected by prostate cancer when determining
    areas for targeted research investment and when selecting projects for
    funding, including through membership of the Charity's Research Advisory
    Committee

•   Regularly consult men affected by prostate cancer to identify priority
    areas of research

•   Seek to become a member at the earliest opportunity of the National
    Cancer Research Institute (NCRI)

•   Actively network within the UK and international prostate cancer research
    communities in order to maintain up to date knowledge of the field and to
    represent the views and interests of men affected by prostate cancer

•   Keep abreast of national research initiatives and changes in research
    infrastructure, for example, the NHS National Institute for Health
    Research, and work with appropriate bodies to ensure that our funded
    research is carried out in the most effective way

•   Avoid duplication of research effort, where possible, by investing in
    research areas not supported by other funders

•   Seek opportunities for joint funding of research projects with other medical
    research charities and government agencies, where this would further our
    strategic aims


Ensure that our funded research is communicated clearly and
effectively to the research community, healthcare
professionals, policy makers, our donors and the general
public
Advances in research are more often achieved through many small steps than
giant strides. It is therefore essential that the results of research projects
funded by the Charity are disseminated widely and in a timely way to enable
them to contribute to overall advances in knowledge. We will:


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•   Regularly inform donors about the projects they are funding - through
    Charity literature, through our website and through Charity events

•   Expect funded researchers to disseminate their research findings to the
    research and healthcare communities as quickly as is practicable

•   Expect funded researchers to publish their work in open access forms
    wherever possible, to maximise the availability of their results to the
    prostate cancer research field

•   Work with researchers and research institutions to ensure that important
    advances arising from the projects funded by the Charity are pro-actively
    communicated to the general public through the mass media

•   Expect researchers who involve men affected by prostate cancer in their
    studies to inform participants of the outcome of their work


Continually monitor and evaluate the outcomes of our funded
research and use this information to inform future research
investment
Public accountability and transparency demand that we place emphasis on
ensuring that our funded research is effectively monitored and evaluated. We
will:

•   Ensure that research projects funded by the Charity are monitored
    through the submission of annual progress reports. Ongoing funding will
    be dependent on the demonstration of satisfactory progress
•   Capture the final results of funded research projects through the
    submission of a detailed report at the end of the funding period
•   Commission a formal assessment of the impact of our research
    programme at least every five years. This will include a follow-up of older
    projects to discover the longer-term outcomes of our funding
•   Use the information gathered through these routes to inform the next
    research strategy review in 2014




Approved by the Board of Trustees: 20th July 2010




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                                                                   APPENDIX 1


Goal 1 of 'Transforming the future for prostate cancer'

"By 2020, significantly more men will survive prostate cancer"


Commitments: We will:

•   Increase research spending broadly in line with overall growth in the
    Charity’s income, funding the highest quality research across the UK on a
    fully competitive basis – across the spectrum from basic research in the
    laboratory, to translational research, to clinical research with patients, to
    psychosocial research into the physical, psychological and emotional
    issues affecting men with prostate cancer and their families

•   Invest the Charity's resources strategically to add value to the overall
    prostate cancer research effort in the UK, addressing the key research
    questions identified above and helping to develop prostate cancer
    research capacity

•   Lobby for increased research directed at developing a new, specific
    diagnostic test for prostate cancer, capable of distinguishing aggressive
    prostate cancers and forming the basis for a national screening
    programme

•   Lobby for increased research into prostate cancer prevention

•   Lobby for increased research into the improvement of survival and
    quality of life for men who have advanced prostate cancer

•   Consider whether the Charity should fund prostate cancer research
    overseas where that might offer benefit to men affected by prostate
    cancer in the UK

•   Engage actively with the wider research community, both in the UK
    and internationally, and fund research jointly with other research
    organisations where this will produce greater return

•   Communicate the results of our research investment to the public and
    use our research effort to engage supporters with our work, increasing our
    overall income

•   Lobby to ensure that overall research funding in the UK is significantly
    increased and that new evidence-based treatments are rapidly and
    consistently introduced across the UK and made available for all men who
    will benefit from them




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                                                                  APPENDIX 1


Values and principles

We have adopted the following values and principles to underpin our work in
this area:

Accountability

We value the money that is donated or bequeathed to us. We recognise our
responsibilities to our donors and our dependency on their continued
generosity and goodwill towards us. We will always seek to use our funds
efficiently, providing value for money in the research that we support and
communicating, in appropriate ways, the processes and outcomes of the
research we fund. We will ensure that the terms of our research grant
agreements enable us to derive maximum benefit from intellectual property
rights and commercial exploitation of research results.

Independent advice

We seek the best available independent advice to develop our strategies and
policies for research investment, taking into account overall research effort in
the United Kingdom and, where feasible, worldwide.

Peer review

We will ensure effective, independent peer review of all research applications
considered, and all funded research output, enabling us to invest in the
highest quality research. We expect peer review to be undertaken with due
regard to confidentiality and will implement arrangements to reinforce this.

User involvement

Research aims to benefit current and future generations of men affected by
prostate cancer - and those near to them. For decisions on research strategy,
policy and investment we will ensure that effective arrangements exist for
representation of the ‘user voice’ i.e. prostate cancer patients, their families
and healthcare professionals.

Collaboration

Research effort is likely to be of maximum benefit when effective collaboration
exists. We will adopt a collaborative approach to the joint funding of research
projects where we believe that this will achieve the greatest potential gain. We
value and encourage a collaborative approach by researchers funded by us
and recognition by them of national collaborative initiatives.

Openness

Whilst recognising the need for scientists to protect their research interests,
we will aim to ensure that researchers funded by us are as open as possible
in discussing their work with other scientists and with the public. Once results


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                                                                  APPENDIX 1


have been published, we expect our funded researchers to make their results
available to other researchers, on request, subject to ethics approvals and
intellectual property considerations. We will publish outline details of research
grants awarded and will promote ‘user-friendly’ publication of research results.

Integrity

We demand integrity of all involved in decisions on grant awards and by the
researchers and research institutions who receive our grants. We expect all
actual or potential conflicts of interest to be declared and we will establish
appropriate mechanisms to ensure this. We expect all research activity
funded by us to be carried out to the highest standards of current ethical and
research practice.




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