Fascinating Lecture on 'Changing Cancer Outcomes with Trials'

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On Tuesday 9th October, St Mary’s enjoyed a brilliant lecture by Professor Lucinda Billingham from the University of Birmingham. Lucinda is Professor of Biostatistics at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, and she spoke about her involvement in cancer trials and the various phases that each one entails. The ways in which cancer develops in a patient was clearly explained, and it was fascinating to learn about the timescale which accompanies cancer detection; from the first cancer cell being produced in the body, it can be 10 years before the cells are detectable. She therefore outlined the two most crucial developments needed in cancer treatment: better detection methods and more effective treatments.

Having worked as a Biostatistician for over 20 years, Lucinda explained the importance of biostatistics and how they are used in the design and analysis of cancer trials. For example, statistics are used to assess the quality of life of patients using the treatment being tested, and for randomising the groups of people who participate in trials. Towards the end, Lucinda told the audience about her career pathway, and delighted many teachers by saying that she uses her maths skills from school every single day!

It was a very enjoyable evening which informed the audience very well about such a relevant and important topic, and we are very grateful to Professor Billingham for coming to speak to us.

Sophie - UVI Form (Year 13)