Three new charity-funded research projects improve care for future patients

The larger-scale projects we support are selected following advice and approval from our Charitable Funds Committee, who review project applications to ensure that our charitable funds are spent in the best way possible for the benefit of local patients. We also have a Research Sub-Committee, who have the specific experience and knowledge to advise on proposed research projects.
Over the last 12 months, we are delighted to have approved funding for three promising research projects, all aiming to improve the standard of care for cancer patients across the region.The first of these, a collaboration between Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Consultant Oncologist Professor Alison Birtle and a research team at The University of Central Lancashire, is looking at the development of an alternative diagnostic method to biopsies, to improve the treatment pathway for prostate cancer patients.
With a grant of £30,000 from our charitable funds, the team is studying how a form of molecular analysis (Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification – LAMP) could lead to less invasive and more accurate diagnostic tests for prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed male cancer.
At a cost of just over £65,000, we also supported the commencement of a research project between LTHTR and Manchester University into the diagnoses of anal cancers, led by LTH Consultant Colorectal Surgeon Mr Ed Parkin.
Anal cancer can be prevented through treatment of precancerous lesions. While there are several potential ways of treating these, the aim of this project is to identify the most effective form of treatment, with the least side effects, by performing detailed patient examinations and developing a “core outcome set” for future clinical trials.
Finally, we approved £56,000 of funding for research into the better understanding of oncology patients’ preferences regarding advance care planning, jointly led by colleagues at the International Observatory on End-of-Life Care at Lancaster University and LTH Consultant Medical Oncologist Professor Ruth Board and LTH Consultant in Palliative Medicine Dr Kate Stewart.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) involves discussing a patient’s wishes regarding their care in the future and in the final months of their life. Planning ahead is beneficial for the patient, their families, and the healthcare professionals involved in their care, yet there is little published about the thoughts and feelings of patients in the UK who are receiving care for a cancer that is treatable but not curable. The aim of the study is to interview current patients, with an intention to use the results to inform future clinical trials, and enable those living with cancer to have more options around discussing ACP in a compassionate, sensitive way. (You can read more about this project here on the IOELC website

Thank you to our supporters for helping us raise the funds to back these innovative, life-changing research projects, which will help improve the standard of care for cancer patients of the future.


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