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Profile of the Talk
This talk will from a largely non-technical viewpoint, discuss the reason that the gold standard way of conducting a trial to improve treatment of a disease is to randomise participants between two or more treatments: essentially tossing a coin for each person as to which treatment they might get.
As a cancer doctor I will inevitably focus on trials of treatment in cancer, but the approach is applicable in other diseases and indeed in an ideal world could be extended to other aspects of our lives.
The talk will be based on a public lecture I gave when appointed a professor in Edinburgh university, and a talk I give annually to third year non-medical biomedical science students in Edinburgh university.So I hope it is accessible to anyone who is interested but without much of a specialist background.
And I hope there will be time for an on-line chat afterwards…..
Professor David Cameron, MD
University of Edinburgh, UK
David Cameron is Professor of Oncology at the University of Edinburgh, UK and deputy director of the Innovative HealthCare Delivery Programme. He is also the joint lead for the Edinburgh Experimental Cancer medicine centre.
He has worked within the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, and nationally within Scotland, to increase theaccessibility and use of data on cancer patients.He is currently chair of the Scottish SACT Programme Board and the Scottish Cancer Data group.
He is chair of the Executive Board of BIG (https://www.bigagainstbreastcancer.org) and an active clinical trialist in breast cancer. He is a member of the UK and EORTC breast cancer groups and is vice chair of the steering group of the Oxford-based Early Breast Cancer Clinical Trialists’ Group and the International Cancer Benchmarking Project. He is chair of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Bordeaux BRIO (SIRIC) and the Canadian 3CTN clinical cancer research network.
How did I get here?
My first degree was in mathematics in 1977, and unsure what to do with this I flew to Beirut to teach mathematics at a school for Blind children for a year.I tried to learn some Arabic of course….but learnt much more about life and politics! On my return to the Uk I continued to teach mathematics at school and then worked in computer programming for a couple of years before realising that I needed to change tack and become a doctor.
I qualified as a doctor in 1986 (partly funding my studies by freelance computer programming) and gravitated towards oncology as the rigour of the science and the need for compassion and “art” in the way you care for patients seemed an ideal blend of skills.Thereafter my career has been a series of opportunities – almost every post I took up was new and created novel opportunities for me, and clinical trials has been my main academic focus.