Supporting the

Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

Neuroendocrine Cancer Surgical Specialty Lead (SSL) Appointed

Feb 28, 2024

As part of our ‘Advancing Neuroendocrine Cancer Research’ campaign, we are delighted to announce the appointment of a neuroendocrine cancer Surgical Specialty Lead (SSL). This is the first time such a role has been established specifically for neuroendocrine cancer, in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons.  There are currently only 22 SSLs in the UK so this appointment represents an opportunity to advance both research and awareness within the wider surgical community.

We are thrilled to introduce Mr. Samuel Ford, a consultant Upper GI and sarcoma surgeon specialising in neuroendocrine tumour (NET) surgery, as the neuroendocrine cancer SSL. Mr. Ford also serves as the research committee chair of the UK & Ireland Neuroendocrine Tumour Society.

The primary objectives of the SSL role, spanning a 3-year term, include establishing two new trials, training approximately 30 new investigators, and developing clinical networks.

The primary goals of Mr Ford’s research will focus on understanding the value of surgery in advanced neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) which is unknown. NETs are typically slow growing and when advanced, people can live a relatively long time. Surgery might prolong survival and improve quality of life; however, it comes with the risks of undergoing a major operation and could expose patients to harm with little benefit. Patient groups and NET specialists are united in the value of answering this question although it is uncertain if patients would be willing to be randomised (allocated by chance) to surgery or not. This trial is to assess feasibility of recruitment and true acceptability to patients. 

In his own words, Mr. Ford stated,

I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed as the Surgical Speciality Lead for Neuroendocrine Cancers. I recognise that this is considerable investment for Neuroendocrine Cancer UK and I am very grateful for the tireless fund raising and support that has come from our patients, their families and benefactors, without which this role would not have been possible. I will use my time in post to consolidate the UK research network for NETs and to target larger funding streams to help improve the quality and length of life for people living with NETs”.

We look forward to hearing about all the progress Mr. Ford will make in this role and will keep our community updated on developments.