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Paediatric Research Unit (PRU)

The Unit Director for PRU is Dr. Quentin Campbell-Hewson, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist and Clinical Research Lead at the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH), part of NuTH. He specialises in early phase trials, solid tumour and palliative care. He is UK CI/PI for 17 early phase trials. He is a member of the Experimental Cancer Medicines Centres (ECMC) Paediatric steering group and the Innovative Therapies in Children with cancer (ITCC European) solid tumour steering groups. He developed and leads the INCLUDE consortium which brings together children cancer centres for the North of Britain (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England) to promote access to new therapies. The consortium model pioneered in the North is now adopted across the rest of the paediatric ECMC network.

The Paediatric Oncology Early Phase trials service collaborates with the Early Phase service at the Sir Bobby Robson Unit in the Freeman to be one of a very few sites in the country where Teenage and Young adult patients can gain access to trials even where they are not open in the centre for their age group. Young adult patients access studies with PI site in paediatrics and teenagers access trials with adult PIs. We sit at the forefront of this inclusive project.

PRU is subdivided into Paediatric Oncology team and General Paediatrics team. Clinical research is carried out in a range of environments in the GNCH encompassing the full range of paediatric medicine. The paediatric oncology research team has expertise in the delivery of chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation and Chimeric Antigen receptor T-cell therapies. The paediatrics team works in all paediatric specialties with a portfolio of more than 50 active trials including gene transfer and advanced therapy trials. The PRU has recruited >80% of all the children recruited to clinical research in the North of England.

The Early Phase children’s cancer trial Unit of our PRU is accredited as an Innovative Therapies in Children with Cancer (ITCC) First-In-Child site, which is one of 5 such site in the UK (20 in Europe).

PRU has supported 36 research-active PI in a broad range of non-oncology paediatric medicine such as Immunology (Prof. Andrew Gennery, Prof. Sophie Hambleton, Dr. Mary Slatter), infectious disease (Prof. Marieke Emonts le Clercq), allergy (Dr. Louise Michaelis), rheumatology (Dr. Flora McErlane), endocrinology (Dr. Catherine Owen), intensive care medicine (Dr. Rachel Agbeko).