Session 201
Stakeholder Engagement: How Agile Thinking Can Transform Your Approach

Collaboration across the ECMC1 clinical Network accelerates innovation and development of new treatments for cancer. In this talk, the speakers will share a high-level overview of the Network and walk through a live case study. The case study follows the steps taken in applying a novel approach to stakeholder engagement while delivering a challenging, complex, and contentious project. The session will include "lessons from the front line" in applying Agile methodology (most closely associated with software development) to a project focused on impact measurement.

The speakers will explore how thinking in an Agile way facilitated their work with academic scientists, oncologists, government regulators, charitable organizations, and pharmaceutical companies to progress innovation within the UK National Health Service clinical trial and evaluation/insight landscape, and explain the challenges they faced on the way and how Agile provided a path forward.

Join Fiona and Siru to learn how this innovative approach to stakeholder engagement facilitated partners of the Network to cocreate a solution through a lean and iterative approach. Gain an inside view of how putting the partner and their experience at the center of this innovative process enabled the ECMC Network to maximize the value of their end product.

During this session, we will delve into:

1The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) Network (, launched in 2007, is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research in England, and the Health Departments for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to drive the discovery, development, and testing of new treatments to combat cancer. Since then, more than £100 million of ECMC funding has supported over 200 research staff involved in early phase trials and translational research.


Fiona Chennells
ECMC Operations Lead
Cancer Research UK

Fiona is the Operations Lead for the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Network (ECMC), a UK network of 18 Adult and 11 Paediatric world leading clinical research centres, driving the discovery, development and testing of new treatments to combat cancer. Since 2017 Fiona has supported commercial and academic research organisations including Pharma, Bio, Medtech and CROs to engage with the ECMC network, conduct early phase oncology clinical trials and develop academic collaborations. Prior to her time with Cancer Research UK, Fiona spent 20 years with Roche Pharmaceuticals, latterly as Head of Data Management and Biometrics in the UK.

Siru Sengul
ECMC Network Lead
Cancer Research UK

Siru Sengul has 10+ years UK and global experience in cancer research from discovery to clinical application. She obtained her PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK and was a visiting researcher at the Stanford University, US. After working in cancer research within the pharmaceutical industry and academic setting Dr Sengul joined Cancer Research UK (CRUK) - the world's leading charity dedicated to cancer research- to be involved in improving patient outcomes more widely and in charity settings. At CRUK she worked in several key strategic projects and is currently the Network Lead at the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) Programme Office ECMC is a collaboration of world-leading scientists and clinicians who bring together expertise to drive the discovery, development and testing of new anti-cancer treatments and biomarkers in early phase studies and trials, to deliver real patient benefits.