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Cancer specialist receives academic recognition

A Preston cancer specialist has been recognised for her outstanding work by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Dr Alison Birtle, a Consultant Oncologist at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has been awarded the title of Honorary Clinical Professor.

Known as one of the country’s leading researchers into urological cancers, she will work with academics in two areas of UCLan’s health provision - the Faculty of Health and Care and the Lancashire Applied health Research Collaboration Hub - to broaden and develop research horizons.

Dr Birtle, who has been an invited speaker at the majority of global oncology congresses said: “This is a wonderful accolade. It is a tribute to such a lot of work and the support from my family over the years. My parents, both staunch Prestonians, would have been so proud.”  

During her 25 years in oncology, she has been a principle investigator on more than 100 clinical studies and trials. She was the chief investigator on the world-renowned and practice changing POUT Trial, a randomised trial of peri-operative chemotherapy versus surveillance in upper tract urothelial cancer.

In 2018, Dr Birtle was named Researcher of the Year at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) North West Coast Innovation Awards and was selected as one of the NHS’ 70 Stars to celebrate the NHS’ 70th birthday.

She has chaired the NIHR Bladder Cancer Clinical Study Group for three years, is secretary to the British Uro Oncology Group and is medical advisor and trustee to the patient charity Fight Bladder Cancer.

Professor Dame Caroline Watkins added: “Dr Birtle’s Honorary Clinical Professorship is fully deserved. She is a renowned oncologist who is making a huge difference to the lives of bladder cancer patients within our area. She will be a great source of knowledge and expertise in our collaboration within UCLan’s UK Clinical Research Collaboration registered Lancashire Clinical Trials Unit and we can’t wait to develop our exciting research plans further.”

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