Rowena Sharpe



Dr Rowena Sharpe

Title of Presentation

The CRUK Stratified Medicine Programme: creating a paradigm shift in targeted cancer clinical trials


Date and Place

Session D2


Speaker Biography

After obtaining a PhD in developing targeted PET imaging agents for use in cancer diagnosis and response to therapy, Rowena spent a number of years at Cancer Research UK. During this time she carried out a large change programme with the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), oversaw the management of early phase trial grants and carried out several strategic reviews, including the future of biomarker driven clinical trials. In the latter period of her time at CRUK she ran Phase One of the CRUK Stratified Medicine Programme.

In 2012 she joined the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust as their NIHR BRC Assistant Director where she set up a new method for awarding and monitoring funding internally, set up the new Royal Marsden Clinical Trials Unit, oversaw the Generic Biobank and led on Royal Marsden involvement in initiatives such as Genomics England.

She re-joined CRUK in 2015 as their Head of Precision Medicine where she has responsibility for leading on the Charity’s agenda in this area and ensuring that Phase Two of the CRUK Stratified Medicine Programme delivers and evolves.



The Cancer Research UK Stratified Medicine Programme 2 (SMP2) is a multi-partner initiative designed to deliver high quality, cost-effective genetic testing for people with cancer across the UK. It screens non-small cell lung (NSCLC) cancer patients by next generation sequencing (NGS) for clinically-actionable gene changes in NSCLC that are likely drug targets. Based on these results, patients are recruited to a specific arm of the National Lung Matrix Trial (NLMT) linked to a targeted therapy, or to ‘not actionable’ (NA) arm (immunotherapy). The aim of SMP is to establish genomic screening at a national level within existing NHS pathways and ensure patients get access to novel targeted therapeutics as a result. This initiative is a highly effective partnership between the CRUK/NIHR Experimental Cancer Medicine Centers, the NHS, pharmaceutical companies and the diagnostics industry. We will describe the SMP2/MATRIX framework and partnership model and provide an update on status. We will highlight initial findings on screening; experience with pathology, laboratories and quality control; prevalence of defined molecular segments, and cohort molecular definition; recruitment to trial and trial progress – and share learnings and challenges.