I am a Senior Lecturer in cancer medicine and an Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at St James's University Hospital in Leeds and within Leeds University. I am a clinical researcher, studying teenagers and young adults with cancer, germ-cell tumours, and sarcomas. I am also a consultant medical oncologist within the NHS, giving chemotherapy to young people with cancer where required and leading in a wide range of their care.
I have a research programme in teenage and young adult cancer including:
- The European Network for Cancer in Children and Adolescents (ENCCA), leading the work programme about improving outcomes for teenagers and young adults with cancer.
- A pilot programme on psychological wellbeing in teenagers and young adults with cancer
- Translational research into germ-cell tumour biology in teenagers and adults with cancer. I also teach medical students about this field, and supervise research projects in the undergraduate medical school as well as PhDs.
- Epidemiological research on the Yorkshire and national registers of teenage and young adult cancer incidence and outcomes.
I am also a co-investigator on the Brightlight NIHR applied programme studying outcomes in teenagers and young adults with cancer.
My favourite part of my job is anything which results in a visible improvement for young people with cancer. That might be a result of a research study showing how we can improve things in future (or that things are already improving), or it might be seeing a young person with a difficult problem and helping them to navigate their way through that, whether in the short term or in the longer term.
I also enjoy working as part of a multidisciplinary team, using the skills I have myself and those of all my colleagues to the greatest benefit of either the patients directly or of research projects.
I find young people and how they deal with illness very inspiring. I am also inspired by the energy, innovation and hard work of my colleagues.
Teenage Cancer Trust and me
Teenage Cancer Trust makes an enormous difference to young people with cancer, providing a voice for young people to advocate for their care.
They provide an environment where young people can be together and cared for by specialist teams. It's easy to be impressed by the beautiful environment of the units, but it's the people - other patients and multidisciplinary team members - that make the biggest difference.
Teenage Cancer Trust bring energy and original ideas to teenage and young adult cancer care, and make young people feel that when they get cancer they are not alone, that somebody really cares about them.