The South East Scottish Cancer Research Network (SESCRN) covers Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife and Lothian Health Board areas, with a population of just over 1.4 million and supports cancer research in all these regions.

We want to empower Scotland against cancer through research by providing local cancer care, enabling access to clear information, and clinical research support regarding research studies across a range of disease sites.

We will support patients and their families to understand clinical research and their potential roles within it with help from our network of dedicated health professionals.

The SESCRN brings together many partners undertaking research such as:

  • Scottish Cancer Research Network (SCRN)
  • Cancer Research UK (CRUK)
  • Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Human Genetics Unit (HGU)
  • University of Edinburgh (U of E)

Working in partnership with these organisations allows us to provide a research service across the board, from bench work to bed side, delivering the latest treatments in which all staff work to the same procedures and standards to provide a world class service for our patients.

SESCRN has a highly trained and motivational work force consisting of professionals within the medical, nursing, radiography, bio-chemistry, pharmacy, data management and administrative departments of each hospital. Each member of the team is vital to the process of delivering the most up to date clinical studies to our patients throughout the South East of Scotland.

Please see the studies page for information on studies currently recruiting in this region. Our links page has information about other research organisations that you may find useful.

In collaboration with our partner organisations we are involved in a wide variety of cancer research. The aim of our research is to help us understand cancer better and to help our patients effected by the disease.

The research we undertake is done in many different forms, for example:

Bench Work: This is done within the laboratories of CRUK, HGU, ECMC and the MRC. It looks at a portfolio of investigations including genetic patterns, drug development and DNA profiling.

Translation research: This is research which looks at patient samples (often tissue from surgery or blood samples) to improve our understanding of cancer. This can include looking at genes which may cause cancers, factors that can predict how patients may respond to treatments as well as a variety of other research.

Clinical Studies: These studies help us evaluate treatments such as new drugs or radiotherapy regimens to ensure they are safe and that they improve outcomes for patients. New drugs go through strict testing in the laboratory before they are offered to patients. After the laboratory testing there are 3 main phases of clinical studies. Each phase has a different purpose:

  • Phase 1 studies involve small numbers of patients and aim to establish a safe dose for the drug and identify any possible side effects.
  • Phase 2 studies involve larger numbers of patients and look at different ways of delivering the treatment, whether the new delivery proves effective and what dose and frequency to use.
  • Phase 3 studies involve large numbers of patients. These studies compare new treatment against the best available current treatment to see which is most effective against cancer.
  • Other Studies: Other clinical studies may look at new ways of preventing, diagnosing and screening cancer or cancer related side effects such as pain or fatigue.