Testimonials from 2016 Workshop Participants
Sanjeev Kumar, Cambridge Institute, Cancer Research UK, United Kingdom
“It’s difficult to articulate the ‘shift’ that attending a course like MCCR has managed to trigger in me. I’m at this point of my career trajectory where I’m transitioning from the hectic life of being a full time clinician, to now being the coordinating investigator of a clinical trial, responsible for the translational aspects of a multi-centre study. I arrived at MCCR with a trial outline and full of ambition, and left with a ‘workshopped’ and near complete protocol, ready for regulatory review.
I met researchers and statisticians from around the world at the pinnacle of their profession, who were genuinely interested in my ideas and willing to take time out of their hectic schedules to mentor budding academics. I networked and bonded with fellow junior colleagues, facing the same hurdles as me, and formed enduring friendships. MCCR has undoubtedly heralded a shift in me from being a passive research participant to being a more forthright and empowered researcher.”
Shoba Silva, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
"The MCCR workshop 2016 far-exceeded my expectations. Following this workshop, I feel suitably empowered to develop novel trial designs, and look forward to applying this knowledge & experience in my centre. The excellent mix of lectures (taught by leading clinicians/statisticians) provided a solid foundation on which I was able to build during the protocol-development sessions.
I found the interactions during my PDG-sessions to be particularly conducive to learning. Each mentor brought his/her own perspective, which meant I had a spectrum of ideas with which to build my proposal. The mentors were patient and constructive in their comments. The other fellows in my group were very supportive, and I learnt a lot from them as well, particularly as our mentors encouraged us to contribute suggestions/advice when other fellows presented their proposals."
Eduardo Castanon Alvarez, Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris, France
"I found the workshop a “must” in every oncologist’s career. I found it really helpful to be in touch with the faculty members, especially with the statisticians which really struggle with us in order to understand the basis of trials.
It is challenging as an oncologist to try to develop your own ideas and to make it real. Thanks to the MCCR Workshop, I found that it is so important to have a real and professional network, in which the patient should be the cornerstone. During my days in Zeist, I found that every member of the team is important in order to develop a trial. I really have to thank my faculty members for their constant help. I could learn better approaches for my proposal, and I finally developed my own protocol draft, which is becoming real. Thanks to all the work done at Zeist, my protocol has been accepted and it will be sponsored"
Angela Orcurto, CHUV, University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland
“This is an intense six-day workshop, where nights and sleeping hours may be short, but the effort is worth it! The workshop starts with high quality lectures in the morning. Themes range from basics of phase I, II and III clinical trials to more specific items regarding combination trials including radiotherapy or surgery, statistics, biomarkers, pharmacology and ethics, just to mention a few.
In the early afternoon, practical groups formed by approximately eight students and four faculty members gather to discuss the protocols designed by each participant. This is a very fulfilling moment were time is dedicated to analyze, exchange opinions and share experiences in order to improve and restructure them. Afterwards, we had the time to work on our protocols as long as needed.”
Noam Fabel Pondé, Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium
"Having only recently entered the field of clinical research, I went into MCCR with very little concept of what would happen there. Having gone through it, I am sure it will constitute one of the main formative experiences of my scientific career. Retreating with like-minded colleagues from all over the world and a faculty of experienced researchers from a variety of fields was one of the most intense, stressful, bewildering and fulfilling learning experiences I have had."
Kamil Zalewski, Holycross (Swietokrzyskie) Cancer Center, Kielce, Poland
"The amount and quality of information that I gained will irrefutably support me in better understanding of principles of good clinical trial design. Meet-your-expert sessions really made a difference in my ability to comprehend the statistical and improve translational part of my study.
Great tutors supporting us during protocol development group sessions were always open to questions and their organized methods kept us all on task to gain the most from the workshop as possible. All of that was accompanied by great lectures and panel discussions! Very well done and very useful information delivered in an excellent manner. In addition, I had a unique opportunity to meet and cooperate with a wonderfully diversified group of young researchers focused on different fields of oncology; it was really inspiring and motivating."
Spyridon Sideris, Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium
"The course included a number of seminars covering all aspects of designing a clinical trial. All experts were accessible and open to discuss our ideas and to provide advice in regards to the writing process of the protocol. Daily meetings with the faculty members assured the development of the original idea until it reached its completion.
Without any doubt, this has been an amazing learning experience and a wonderful opportunity to expand our professional network. I feel grateful to be given this chance to be part of this workshop and I look forward to seeing my project grow."
Nuria Mulet Margalef, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain
“Methods in Clinical Cancer Research (MCCR) is the best Workshop that I have ever attended. It provides a unique opportunity to delve into the full development of clinical trials, from the first idea to the final protocol. An extraordinary faculty who often are “big-names” in their respective disciplines intensively guide fellows in order to make full use of the experience.
As a fellow, I really appreciate attending such high-level daily lectures and also being a part of a small “protocol development group” in which the discussions based on scientific criteria are the basis. In addition, all of this occurs in a beautiful and peaceful environment full of young fellows who can still enjoy themselves on the last day after a week of long nights in front of the laptop!”