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Supporting Strategies and Frameworks
The National Cancer Framework 2017-2022
The Qatar National Cancer Research Strategy (QNCRS)was launched in 2012 to complement the NCS. These twostrategies will now be integrated and aligned within thisNCF.
Comprehensive cancer care, provided within an academic health system can only be realized with seamless integration across clinical, research and academic Domains and with close collaboration between academic health partners in Qatar and beyond.
Steady progress has been made in cancer research within Qatar over the last five years and the recommendations identified within the QNCRS remain pertinent, timely and important. The recommendations have therefore been reviewed and reiterated in the NCF with some minor revision to reflect the achievements and progress made.
Enhancing Cancer Research Implementation of research programs will be overseenby the Qatar Cancer Research Partnership (QCRP).
QCRP will be responsible for ensuring coordination across all clinical and research organizations. It will provide focus for increased internal, external academic and commercial collaborations and identify emerging technologiesand platforms required for cancer research to become internationally competitive.
QCRP will report quarterly to the MOPH via the National Cancer Committee.
Significant investment has been made to recruit exceptional research talent and develop clinical research facilities and technologies, such as the Qatar Bio Bank and the state-of-the-art technologies within the Radiooncology department, including PET-CT and Cyber Knife.
The National Vision for Qatar 2030, the National Research Strategy and the NHS support the recommendations outlined in the QNCRS there is an unrivaled opportunity to collaborate with other research sectors within and outside Qatar, such as the environmental, technological and material and social sciences sectors. The key recommendations and deliverables for research within the NCF are focused, as in the original strategy, on the following areas:
Faculty: People and training
The QNCRS acknowledged that in order to establish an internationally competitive research environment there is an ongoing need to develop specialist cancer research capacity and capabilities.
Clinical and non-clinical cancer fellowships are required across the research specialties and healthcare sectors, including primary care and public health.
A comprehensive research career pathway will include internationally competitive Ph.D. programs and graduate schools, doctoral fellowships,postdoctoral training opportunities and exchange programs including the provision of longer-term senior academic appointments.
Prioritization: Increased investment and focused basic and translational cancer research
In order to ensure the best return on investment, funding must be targeted towards areas that are likely to have the biggest impact, which has been identified as Qatar’s cancer research priorities and grand challenges.
In order to maximize the potential of existing resourcesand expertise within Qatar, a baseline mapping of current capabilities and capacity across its research partners should be undertaken to identify gaps and avoid duplication
Infrastructure: Clinical and translational research facilities and networks
A National Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), supported by translation research capabilities, should be established to secure Qatar’s position as the leading local, national and regional hub, to deliver access to the best treatment options for patients.
This is a prerequisite to qualifying for international clinical trials. Partnerships should be sought with international clinical trials groups and consortia, in line with the identified national cancer research priorities.
The Qatar Biobank provides an excellent resource, which needs to be expanded to include a tissue repository.This should be aligned with the CTU and clinical studies.
In addition to the anticipated impact offered from the collaboration between cancer research partners within Qatar, participation in wider national and international cancer research and public networks should be enhanced
Systems: Research governance and research information
The QCRP will showcase the outcomes of cancer researchin Qatar through the coordination of cancer research conferences, workshops and seminars to maximize engagement and benefit for all.
There will be clear linkagewith international and regional conferences to promote the research agenda and raise the viability of opportunities.
Public, patient, charitable and community involvement and engagement in cancer care and research is essential. Public information and awareness programs will be developed.
Work with the academic partners and funders to identify and establish clinical and non-clinical multidisciplinary research programs and fellowships.
Develop a research career pathway to include doctoral fellowships, postdoctoral training opportunities, and exchange programs.
Ensure that workforce planning for cancer clinicians and allied health professionals include the capacity to allow for protected time for research and academic activities.
Undertake a baseline assessment of current research capacity and capability across Qatar.
Develop long term (5-year) budget for research infrastructure, facility, and workforce.
Identify a set of high impact research priorities.
Establish collaborations across the healthcare research sectors and the wider non-health research communities.
Establish a clinical trials infrastructure to support the full range of clinical trial activity.
Set up centralized imaging and radiotherapy within a translational research center.
Develop the existing BioBank to include a tissue repository.
Develop a relationship with QSTP to maximize technology research, technology transfer, and commercialization possibilities.
Develop with MOPH a comprehensive data register of Qatar cancer research activity, outputs, and outcomes.
Establish a collaborative network to support the implementation of the research components of the strategy, ensure strategic alignment across all the academic partners and support a coordinated approach to future planning and development.
Ensure coordination in the planning of cancer research conferences, workshops, and seminars.
Engage with the cancer community to include a range of patient and public information and awareness-raising activities Lead.