Senior Neuroblastoma Clinical Trials Coordinator

Study name N/A
Study type N/A
Principal investigator(s) N/A
Institutions University of Birmingham Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit
Partners N/A
Total awarded £469,330.55 over 8 years
Solving Kids’ Cancer UK contribution £469,330.55 over 8 years

Latest update

In January 2024, Solving Kids’ Cancer UK renewed the funding for the Senior Neuroblastoma Clinical Trials Coordinator at the CRCTU in Birmingham.

Since funding the post in 2018, the Senior Trials Coordinator post has played a pivotal role in the delivery of neuroblastoma trials at the CRCTU. The dedicated role has allowed an increase in capacity to set up new neuroblastoma trials, including a new ability to work on new trials ‘at risk’. This means that set up work for a trial can begin before funding is in place, so that it can be made available to children as quickly as possible once funds are available.

In addition, SKC UK has benefited greatly from a closer working relationship with the Clinical Trials Unit thanks to funding this post. Regular updates with their team have given us new insights and evidence on the trial landscape in the UK, including barriers and bottlenecks that are hindering progress. This has heavily supported the development of our External Affairs Strategy, focused on accelerating clinical trials for children with cancer in the UK.

By extending this funding for another three year period, crucial work to mobilise and deliver neuroblastoma trials for children across the UK will continue, and we look forward to our future work with the Senior Trial Coordinator and their team.

“The funding from Solving Kids’ Cancer UK for a Senior Clinical Trials Coordinator supporting the neuroblastoma trials is vital to allow CRCTU to continue to develop and deliver trials that have the potential to change outcomes for children with high-risk neuroblastoma where improvements in the effectiveness of treatment at diagnosis as well as when initial treatment fails, are urgently needed.” - Prof. Amos Burke, Director of the Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit


With neuroblastoma being considered as a rare disease, a solid infrastructure is essential to ensure that progress in clinical trials is sustained and accelerated and not left behind other areas of cancer research. The Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham manages coordination of the majority of children’s cancer trials across the UK, also incorporating international collaboration. 


Solving Kids’ Cancer UK funds a specific Senior Trials Coordinator for neuroblastoma, which is the first post of this kind dedicated to a specific childhood cancer. Dr Jen Laidler is responsible for all neuroblastoma trials in the portfolio at CRCTU, and monitors progress, implementation and impact of the trials. Having a post that is specifically dedicated to neuroblastoma both increases the unit’s capacity for these trials and allows more focus on efficiency of trial delivery which will bring impact to children more quickly.

Meet Our Senior Clinical Trials Coordinator

After 10 years working commercially making cancer testing kits, Jen wanted a role closer to research and developing cancer treatments. When she took her first job at the CRCTU (Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit), this didn’t disappoint, and she started work on a small innovative trial involving children with neuroblastoma. Like many people, Jen hadn’t heard of neuroblastoma before and was lucky to learn from the teams in the CRCTU and at the hospitals we worked with.

She continued to learn, working on a larger, international trial (BEACON-Neuroblastoma) and met some of the great researchers and consultants working on neuroblastoma treatments around Europe. Since then, she has worked on other trials in other disease areas, but my experience in neuroblastoma in those first years became useful again when she took on the Senior Trials Coordinator position.

Jen is currently working on five trials which are recruiting or in follow up and another two trials being developed. Her experience working with NHS hospitals in setting up trials has highlighted some of the difficulties in ensuring the accessibility of trial treatment to all children. Working closely with Solving Kids' Cancer UK has led her to develop methods to better identify the challenges and potential ways to overcome these. She finds being in a central role for the neuroblastoma portfolio at CRCTU gives her a unique placement to contribute to the Solving Kids' Cancer UK external affairs strategy using case studies and collating information from multiple trials to support their campaign to accelerate the progress of the trials for children with neuroblastoma.