CM-Path Priorities 2019-21

With its new chair, Professor David Harrison, at the helm, CM-Path share top priorities

Looking forward to the next two years, David and CM-Path announce new aims alongside strategic plans to help make this transformative change in pathology and cancer research a reality in the UK.

Hear more from David about the new focus of the programme

AIM: The importance of pathology is increasingly being recognised in drug development and clinical research. CM-Path therefore aim to change the way pathologists engage with, conduct and are recognised for their work in clinical trials in the UK.


We will achieve this by:

  • Delivering SPIRIT-Path – International Consensus Guidance on the Inclusion of Pathology in Clinical Trial Protocols, an extension to the current SPIRIT 2013 checklist which includes evidence-based recommendations for the minimum content of a clinical trial protocol. SPIRIT is widely endorsed as an international standard for trial protocols.


  • Proposing a change to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Health Research Authority (HRA) costing templates in the UK to build in more pathology activity and ensure this money is distributed to pathology departments when pathologists conduct trial work,


  • Providing advice through the Clinical Trial Pathology Advisory Group (CT-PAG) – CT-PAG will continue to advise researchers about how to involve pathologists and pathology requirements in clinical trial design and provide critique upon research applications. With over 50 expert reviewers the group can offer advice on tissue acquisition, processing, storage and access, tissue analytics and biomarkers including biomarker discovery, assay development and qualification.


  • Introduce generic consent – gauge the feasibility of delivering a generic consent form for research in the UK. If deemed feasible deliver a template form and get this approved by ethics committees for use.


  • Deliver molecular pathology workshops using the Training Residents in Genomics (TRIG) methodology and training materials – an internationally approved training methodology which will ‘plug the gap’ while the Royal College of Pathologists update the postgraduate pathology curriculum to include more molecular pathology. CM-Path will run annual workshops training postgrad pathology students and consultants.


  • Deliver Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and online training modules for pathologists engaging in clinical trials


‘By creating internationally recognised standards for pathology, cutting down on regulatory and time burdens and ensuring that pathology is fully costed in clinical trials we will be able to have a transformative effect, not just for pathologists but all disciplines involved in clinical cancer research.’
David Harrison, CM-Path Chair
‘CM-Paths renewed focus and the specific objectives set out in the new plan will benefit pathologists to ensure they have the time and resources to continue their excellent work in clinical trials. Their expertise in the era of precision medicine is vital to help oncologists offer the best treatments to the right patients.’
Ruth Plummer, NCRI Strategy Advisory Group Member


Want to be kept up to date? Sign up to the NCRI newsletter and click ‘CM-Path’ in the type of updates you would like to receive.

Are you interested in clinical trials? Get involved in SPIRIT-Path.

Are you a patient or carer? Apply to be a consumer member on one of CM-Path’s work packages.

Have further questions? Contact the CM-Path Programme Manager, Helen Pitman.