Tuesday, 5 January 2010


A specialist trainee research nurse is now part of the team at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre – funded through the ongoing generosity of donors and fund-raisers to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Chris Dobb, aged 51 from Newcastle, joins the team in the clinical trials unit in the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.

She qualified as a nurse over 20 years ago and has a wealth of experience in different areas including high dependency and school nursing. Two years ago she began work in clinical research and was so inspired she leapt at the opportunity to work at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

Chris comments: “My main responsibility as a trainee research nurse is to learn from the experience of the cancer specialist nurses around me and to support them.

“This is a very supportive environment for patients and the medical staff. What hits you as soon as you start working here is the sense of a real team effort. The staff here are extremely professional and there is a mixture of different cancer specialities and the multi disciplinary approach is very effective.

“The patients who come here are dealing with extremely difficult issues and the way they handle that and go on with their lives as normal is incredible. The team here has a great deal of respect for them.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my new role. I love the patient contact, getting to know them and their families and building a relationship with them.

“It’s a privilege being part of something this worthwhile. Looking at new ways to beat cancer and being part of such a dedicated team of medical specialists.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre was constructed by the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust and equipped by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Its specialist staff are funded through Newcastle University, the NHS Trust, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Cancer Research UK.

Patients from across the north east visit the centre for treatment and to participate in clinical trials of cancer drugs which are so new that they are not yet licensed by the NHS.

Professor Ruth Plummer, director of the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, says: “Chris’ appointment is an investment in the long-term future both of this centre and cancer research in the north east.

“Sir Bobby was very proud of this Centre and the staff who are lucky enough to work here are proud of it too. It’s a very special and upbeat place to work and the patients who come here know that by taking part in clinical trials of new cancer drugs they are part of the larger fight against this disease.

“With incredible support from fund-raisers and donors we have achieved a great deal in a short time but there’s still so much we can do. We will be announcing a very significant investment into cancer research in the New Year and will continue to grow the legacy Sir Bobby kindly left us.”