Our Centre has world-leading capabilities in surgical and radiotherapy technologies, cancer detection and device technologies, and is at the forefront in the development of novel clinical interventions for patient benefit. Importantly, generation of early evidence on clinical utility, human factors and cost effectiveness are key factors on ensuring success, redirecting development as well as abandoning unpromising technologies at an early stage. However, there are several challenges for the adoption of innovations, often associated with bridging the expertise of engineers with the requirements of the healthcare market:

    • Often a technology platform is invented but requires early consideration of the precise clinical application to guide its development towards clinical utility.
    • The need to adapt technologies designed for a single cancer site into a platform for multiple cancers to increase its uptake into clinical practice and cost-effectiveness.
    • Specific datasets are required to support progression through the regulatory pathway and novel first-in-human study designs are needed to demonstrate safety before moving to efficacy-based trials.
    • The need to generate early evidence on human factors and economic modelling to guide the development of cancer technology towards clinical utility.
    • The need to develop prototype devices into clinically implementable technologies required to initiate clinical studies.

     

    Doctor treating patient in ward

    Thus, translating novel technologies, devices and treatments into clinical practice requires a multidisciplinary effort to navigate the research ethics, regulatory approval processes and support to enable optimal clinical positioning. These problems are often insurmountable hurdles preventing innovations from attracting external commercial and venture capital funding required for progression to clinical use. To address the challenges outlined above, we initiated a Cancer Technology Accelerator team that will facilitate translation of the most promising innovations along the clinical approval pathway to maximise the likelihood of clinical adoption.