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Working together to beat cancer

Cancer remains a major global challenge for 21st century healthcare, and Oxford University Hospitals is helping to play a role in tackling the disease.

Oxford's Churchill Hospital, a specialist cancer hospital, works in partnership with organisations that are developing new tests and treatments to trial them in patients in a hospital setting.

The Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit (EPCTU) is a 24-bed facility in the hospital that treats about 200 patients each year from the earliest safety testing to more advanced research into effectiveness.

Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit, Oxford

Duration: 4 minutes 21 seconds

The centre is supported by and works closely with researchers from the University of Oxford, Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

All are based just a short walk from the hospital in the University of Oxford's Old Road Campus Research Building, located within the Churchill site.

This means that discoveries can not only be quickly tested in patients but also swiftly reported back to those researchers for further action.

The centre also links with industry to trial new treatments so discoveries can benefit patients not just in Oxfordshire but throughout the world.

These include immunotherapy drugs nivolumab, pembrolizumab and ipilimumab, which use the power of the body's immune system to fight cancer.

Clinicians at the hospital also work with the University of Oxford's Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, on the Churchill site.

This takes samples from patients for genetic sequencing, which breaks down their DNA so it can be analysed for mutations. This information can then be reported back to clinicians to improve their patient's care.