Research and innovation

Haematology physicians have a strong record in research and innovation. Haematology is a particularly academic discipline: relative to other specialties, a larger number of trainees obtain higher degrees prior to becoming consultants, and there is a larger proportion of clinical academic staff in teaching hospitals.

The haematology community in the UK is particularly focused on an ethos of clinical trial recruitment. This means that a higher proportion of haematology patients enter relevant trials compared to other specialties. The vast majority of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia are offered entry into one of the national clinical trials. The huge growth in the number of novel agents used in haematology oncology as well as in thrombosis and haemostasis (including direct oral anticoagulants and extended half-life coagulation factors) has led to significantly increased trial portfolios in most units for both commercial and non-commercial studies. At the same time, trial management is increasingly complex with varying regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, the lack of funding to support trial nurses and data managers has led to a shortage of capacity, which is a threat to trial delivery. Excess treatment costs also remain an issue for many units.