Radiotherapy research is complex and challenging, both academically and practically. The NCRI undertook its first review of radiotherapy and associated radiobiology research in 2003, where radiotherapy and radiobiology research was identified as underfunded and variable in quality. The report resulted in a number of actions, the most substantial of which was the establishment of the Cancer Research UK and Medical Research Council Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology (formerly the Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology in Oxford).
A group of NCRI research funders and experts met in April 2008 to consider and update the actions from the first review in 2003 and produced a rapid review of research in radiotherapy and radiobiology with a ten-point action plan.
As a result, the NCRI Board agreed to establish a new Clinical and Translational Radiotherapy Research Working Group (CTRad) in November 2008 with Professor Tim Maughan as the first Chairman. The group was formally launched in July 2009.