Board of Trustees
The Kidney Cancer Support Network (KCSN) is governed by a Board of Trustees. We currently have five trustees who all volunteer their time to ensure the charity meets its objectives and makes sure the charity is doing what it was set up to do.
Below is a profile for each of our trustees detailing their background, skills and the experience they bring to running the charity.
When the KCSN became a registered charity in November 2015, Clive Stone MBE was one of our original trustees, after supporting and being a member of the KCSN voluntary-run group since he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2007. From then until his death in June 2016, Clive worked tirelessly to ensure equal access to treatments for kidney cancer patients.
Following a successful campaign to end the postcode lottery of access to cancer treatments across the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron introduced the Cancer Drugs Fund, a move inspired by the relentless campaigning spearheaded by Clive.
For his work on behalf of cancer patients, Clive was recognised with an MBE presented by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in 2011.
When Clive lost his personal battle with kidney cancer, the community lost an inspirational man who did so much for his fellow patients, despite his own battle with the disease. Clive was such a special man, and the KCSN is very proud of his association with the charity.
If you would like to contact the trustees, please email us.
Andrew Thomas, Chair
Andy is a kidney cancer survivor diagnosed in 2006 aged 44 with a cystic clear cell carcinoma. Andy underwent an open radical nephrectomy; luckily the tumour was low grade and low stage with no metastases and since then no further treatment has been needed.
As a consequence of feeling so lucky to have come out in one piece Andy then went on to create the Kidney Cancer Resource to help others wanting to find out more about the condition, or needing help understanding some of the complex clinical language used that can often be frightening and confusing for newly diagnosed patients. As a technologist Andy used his knowledge to build the resource and maintain and add to it on a daily basis.
Andy has also cycled and led 4 cycle rides from London to Paris raising money to promote awareness for kidney cancer.
Having spent 25 years as an investment banking technology director, Andy made the switch to work for the NHS. Initially for 4 years as the Chief Information Officer for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and latterly for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as the Director of Informatics and CIO.
Professor James Larkin MA PhD FRCP
Professor James Larkin is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust specialising in the treatment of melanoma and cancers of the kidney.
James took a first in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and undertook clinical training at Oxford University, qualifying in 1996. He underwent general medical training in London and in 2001 won a Medical Research Council (MRC) Fellowship for a Clinician, carrying out laboratory research at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, which led to the award of a PhD. He completed specialist training at The Royal Marsden and was appointed a Consultant in 2008.
His research interests involve trying to understand cancer and its consequences better, as well as developing improved treatments, particularly with targeted therapies and immunotherapies. He has served as UK and Global Chief Investigator for a number of clinical trials in melanoma and kidney cancer, many leading to the approval of new drugs for the treatment of advanced disease. He has been awarded research grants from bodies including Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and the European Framework Programme 7.
He is a past National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) National Specialty Lead for Early Phase Oncology Trials, as well as a former Chair of both the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Renal Cancer Clinical Studies Group and The Royal Marsden/Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) Committee for Clinical Research. He is currently Vice Chair of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Committee and Lead of the Uncommon Cancers Theme at The Royal Marsden/ICR Biomedical Research Centre.
He serves as a medical advisor to the patient advocacy group Melanoma UK, is a trustee of the Kidney Cancer Support Network, and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Kidney Cancer Coalition (IKCC).
Dr Samra Turajlic BA MBBS MRCP PhD
Dr Samra Turajlic completed her undergraduate studies at Oxford University and her clinical training at UCL medical school.
In 2014 she was awarded a CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship to study cancer evolution at the Francis Crick Institute (FCI). She completed her training in medical oncology in 2015 and joined the Skin and Urology Units at the Royal Marsden Hospital as a Consultant Medical Oncologist.
She divides her time between the clinic and the Translational Cancer Therapeutics laboratory at the FCI.
She is the Chief Clinical Investigator of translational studies into melanoma and kidney cancer. Her main research goal is to improve our understanding of the biology of kidney cancer and melanoma and the reasons for treatment success and failure.
Her clinical research interest is in validating novel targets and therapies for these diseases.
Deborah Victor RGN BSc (Hons) PGCE
Uro-Oncology (Metastatic) Clinical Nurse Specialist, Royal Cornwall Hospital
Debbie completed her nurse training as an RGN at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in 1990, but moved back to Cornwall the same year. She started urology nursing at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in 1991 and has worked in this speciality ever since. Initially rising up through the ranks on the ward, during which time she completed a Diploma in Urological Nursing. She then became a Clinical Nurse Specialist in urological malignancies in 2004 and completed her BSc(Hons) in Health Studies (Specialist Cancer Nursing) in 2006. Since then she has also completed her PGCE and is a qualified non-medical prescriber.
Debbie has looked after people affected by renal cancer in both surgical and oncology settings, so has significant involvement with patients at all stages of their renal cancer pathway. Her experience in this led to her being the lead nurse on the writing of the online renal cancer course at www.cancernursing.org which was launched in September 2010.
She was a committee member of the British Association of Urology Nurses section of Oncology, helping to organise study days and conferences to improve nurses’ knowledge of urological malignancies. As part of her work Debbie is involved in the teaching of GPs, junior doctors and nurses.
Debbie enjoys all aspects of uro-oncology and works across all urological tumour sites. Teaching, health promotion, renal cancer and managing patients on oral anticancer therapies are particular interests. In her ‘spare’ time she enjoys walking the coastal footpath of Cornwall with her family, and is a keen scout leader.
Jonathan Pym BSc ACA
Jon was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2006 and, having had his kidney removed, metastases showed up in his lungs two years later. A journey through systemic treatment, enhancing his immune system, various surgeries, and latterly the latest stereotactic radiotherapy to deal with brain metastases, Jon remains on the surface fit and active and keen to give hope to anyone finding themselves facing a future with cancer.
Jon lives in Warwickshire, and is a qualified accountant and a trustee of the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Oxford.
Alison Fielding BA Dip Management
Alison was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer in 2014. After a nephrectomy and stereotactic radiotherapy for a small brain metastasis, she has been on oral targeted therapy for her disease since 2015. As one of the moderators of the Kidney Cancer Support Network Facebook community, she has a good understanding of patient experience and concerns across all kidney cancer types and stages. Alison has been a patient advocate for KCSN for some years and has represented patients’ views at a NICE Health Technology Assessment, European Medicine Agency hearings, Parliament and as a TV and conference speaker. She currently sits as a consumer representative on the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Clinical Study Group for Bladder and Renal Cancer as well as several clinical trial steering groups. She has also just completed over 2 years on Cancer Research UK’s national Cancer Insight Panel and continues to work with them on strategy and in staff development.
She is Chair of Cardiomyopathy UK, a medium sized charity supporting people affected by cardiomyopathy and myocarditis across the globe through patient support, clinical training, assistance with research and awareness raising. Her term has seen the charity grow substantially in size and scope. This helps her to bring knowledge of charity governance and health related charitable activities to KCSN.
Now retired from paid work, she previously worked as a Major Account Sales Director in a global IT provider.