Professor James Spicer
PURE Profile: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/james-spicer(53116132-1967-4fb6-9b1a-859ac873e78f).html
The Comprehensive Cancer Centre functions as a coordinated multidisciplinary network across the hospitals within King's Health Partners (KHP). The Centre is accredited by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes. KHP hosts an Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (CRUK & NIHR-funded; joint Lead Prof J Spicer), and is designated as a Cancer Research UK centre of excellence.
A new Cancer Treatment Centre building opened on the Guy’s campus in 2016. Research and clinical service are closely allied, providing an ideal environment for training translational academic oncologists. A series of academic clinical Fellows and Lecturers have secured Clinician Scientist support to join the Faculty, or have joined the Cancer Centre as clinical consultants.
The Cancer Centre hosts the Cancer Early Phase Trails Unit, run by Prof Spicer and 3 other PIs, which recruits to a portfolio of Phase 1 trials, including immunotherapies discovered and developed at KHP. IATs have the opportunity to rotate into this Unit and take responsibility for one or more of the recruiting trials. The Unit treats patient in the custom-built infrastructure of the NIHR Guy’s & St Thomas’ Clinical Research Facility.
A full range of research projects is available to Integrated Academic Trainees, with the Training Programme Director and the Cancer Lead for IATs taking responsibility for matching trainees’ interests and aspirations with a suitable investigator and laboratory. Prominent areas of research engaged by IATs to date include novel antibody immunotherapies, autologous CAR-targeted T-cell therapy, the biology of triple-negative breast cancer, and the epidemiology of cancer.
During the clinical component of their programme IATs rotate on a 6-monthly basis through disease site-specific firms gaining experience in the management of a wide range of malignancies. The hospital Network covers a population of 2 million and provides excellent clinical training. All clinics in the Cancer Centre at Guy’s (opened in 2016), run on the basis of multidisciplinary teams. Trainees gain experience functioning within such an environment, following patients through their diagnosis, treatment and subsequent management. They are also involved in recruiting patients into clinical trials.
IATs are fully integrated into rotations, and benefit from clinical experiences required for meeting training competencies, including on-call and inpatient care. ACFs receive 3 months’ release from clinical commitments in every 12 months, and in that period are fully embedded in their host laboratory without clinical commitments. CLs work a mixed timetable, with job plans providing protected research time for half the week. This provides optimal clinical/research balance for these more senior trainees, many of whom are pursuing a translational research project.