Juan Valle

Juan Valle
Juan Valle
University of Manchester / The Christie
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am an academic Medical Oncologist at the University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester UK. I have been a specialist since 2000 with a clinical focus on hepato-pancreato-biliary cancers (HPB; including cholangiocarcinoma, liver cancer, gallbladder cancer and pancreatic cancer) as well as neuroendocrine tumours (NETs).
Can you share one or two of your specific research interests?
I have an interest in practice-changing clinical trials; these have always focused on systemic therapies, initially chemotherapy although this is now being expanded to include targeted therapies and immunotherapy
Why did you decide to specialize in hepatobiliary cancers?
I realised early on that these were rather "neglected" cancers. It also became evident that although biliary tract cancers are rare, this could be overcome with (in the case of the UK) national collaboration and coordination. I also have a genuine curiosity to understand the nature of these cancers, why they can be so tough to treat and to understand the impact on patients and their carers, who are (often) going through tough times.
Can you describe one of the unforgettable moments in your patients care or research that has impacted your career?
Being part of the team that is able to shape international standards of care is unforgettable. However, it also reminds me that we have a long way to go yet; patients deserve to live longer and better lives so this is an ever-present challenge.
Can you tell us one thing collaboration with colleagues could accomplish that you could not accomplish on your own?
The UK has collaborated in clinical research for biliary tract cancer for many years now and has established a number of "standards of care"; I consider it a "Goldilocks" effect - just the right size to be able to deliver clinical trials...any larger and there may be many competing groups; any smaller and we may not have the patient volume needed for our clinical research. It is not just collaboration with colleagues but also with patients themselves who agree to participate in studies, that this is possible. To all our collaborators: thank you.
If you had access to one resource that would move your research forward, what would that resource be?
Time, never enough time!
How did you learn about the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation?
It has been my pleasure to be involved with CCF since the very early years and to see it grow in strength and numbers ever since.
Can you tell us why you became a member of the ICRN?
As an international member, this was a "no -brainer"; we had already learnt that we could accomplish more through national UK-wide collaboration, so international collaboration was a natural next step. Through the ICRN, we are able to address questions in a more timely manner and benefit from the collective strengths of all the partners.