The Bone Cancer Research Trust have awarded our first ever sample collection Infrastructure Grants to all five bone cancer centres across England. These first-of-a-kind grants give all primary bone cancer patients the opportunity to contribute to both ongoing and future research projects.

The grants provide the infrastructure needed for the collection of patient samples, which is the most effective way to study primary bone cancer. It is only by studying patient samples that scientists will fully understand what is causing these cancers to develop and how better treatments can be developed.

One of the centres to receive an Infrastructure Grant is The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham and they have made impressive headway in improving how they collect patient samples. In a very short space of time, the number of patients they have been able to approach for sample donations has increased by 50% from previous years.

Professor Phil Begg, Executive Director for Strategy and Delivery from The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, said

The collection of patient samples helps us to understand how cancers grow, where they originate from, and importantly it helps us to develop new, innovative treatments for the future. This has an impact not just on our patients here in Birmingham, it will have an impact on patients that suffer from these rare bone cancers across the UK and worldwide.

Watch the video below to find out more from the team at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, about how funding from the Bone Cancer Research Trust enables them to carry out research and improve how patients are supported.


Sample collection is challenging, complex and time-consuming. The team will work with the current research nurses to ensure all patients with primary bone cancer are offered the chance to donate samples for research, and if so, that these samples are collected from the theatre and processed, labelled and stored appropriately. Both roles will provide a vital link between the research team, the patient and the surgical team in theatres.

They will also ensure that samples are contributing to approved research projects. In such a short period of time, the Infrastructure Grant has helped fuel 5 world class, pioneering research projects, including:

  • 100,000 Genome Project
  • Chordoma Genome Project
  • Chondrosarcoma ctDNA
  • Ewings Genotype
  • CTC & RNA Single Cell

  • Phoebe Tomkins, age 14, said

    To be involved in research feels good because you know you are helping someone else and you're turning a bad situation into a good thing.



    Zoe Davison, Head of Research and Information, said

    We put patients at the heart of everything we do. Patients that consent to giving samples are truly making a difference to future research. This will help our researchers and clinicians to develop more effective and kinder treatments, and ultimately help us come one step closer to finding a cure. Thank you to all patients that are contributing to this vital research at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital and across the other four centres.

    Click here to find out more about our Infrastructure Grants.