I remember quite clearly when I was first introduced to, and invited to become a part of OR:BIT. I was sitting in our Oxford offices, next to its founder, Jo McDonald. Jo leaned over to me conspiratorially and said, ‘What do you think of this’ and pushed a piece of A4 paper across to me, on which was doodled what would become our OR:BIT acronym and logo. It’s no exaggeration to say that everything spiraled from there! As HRW continues to grow, so does our OR:BIT team, which now spans the Atlantic, with researchers passionate about the field of Oncology and ready to bring this enthusiasm and knowledge to every study.
But what does it mean to be part of OR:BIT? Well I would say firstly that it is a badge I wear with pride every single day. Oncology is my sole focus, and I am excited to be given the continued opportunity, resource and support to expand my knowledge in the space and bring this passion to my work. At an even more fundamental level, Oncology is never boring. Ever. In fact, the struggle is more about finding the time to keep up! Every day you see new data, or a expanded indication that you feel could make a significant differences to cancer patients.
But you are never on your own in OR:BIT; there is a dynamic sense of energy and purpose that we all share that drives us to want to know more, explore more, understand more, so that we can understand the why’s and wherefores’ and be a credible resource to our clients. There is always another team mate ready to spread the responsibility of attending conferences, listening to webinars or going to training sessions and this is also ensures that learning is shared amongst the team, rather than siloed. That being said, OR:BIT does benefit from it being a diverse group with different passions. Jo McDonald and Gemma McConnell, for example, are very close to the CAR-T space and are always eager to keep up to date in this dynamic and increasingly competitive space, whilst my passion is to have the opportunity to get as close as possible to the patient experience. This diversity in interests ensures that, to the best of our abilities, our interests and experiences cover a wide spectrum of the Oncology landscape. And if we don’t know about it, we are excited to learn about it. Our capacity to soak up new science, new terminology, new reference points, new outcomes, new patient story is built on the foundation of an engaged team who are passionate about learning the language of Oncology, and understand at a fundamental level what it means to talk about PFS, OS, relapse/refractory, Kaplan Meir data, response rates, DoR, MRD, the list of acronyms could go on – and does!
For me, being part of OR:BIT is a privilege. I love working with and learning from everyone on the team and although Oncology is a challenge; I wouldn’t have it any other way!
By Kirsty Page