Is cancer research actually changing cancer treatment - an update from projects in North Trent
Chris Boswell, Chair of North Trent Cancer Network, welcomed the audience and spoke of how North Trent prioritises cancer funding. She illustrated this by using Herceptin as a case study. She concluded by admitting that NHS resources are limited and priorities have to be determined, and that clinical evidence must drive these decisions.
Prof Penella Woll, Chair, Clinical Trials Executive NTCRN spoke of the latest research in lung cancer treatment, of which there are 1,300 cases pa in the North Trent region. Less than 30% of patients survive one year and early diagnosis offers the best chance of a cure. She acknowledged the contribution that lung cancer patients make to trials.
Gillian Horne is Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse/Research Fellow at Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her current research involves how patients can influence the care of advanced lung cancer and how to prepare them for death and dying. She is commencing a new project exploring experiences of patients, carers and staff in relation to end of life care.
Dr Angela Tod is a lecturer at the University of Sheffield and has been investigating why some lung cancer patients present late. She spoke of the lack of information and the symptoms of lung cancer; non-smokers and ex-smokers are also at risk; and the guilt that smokers feel. She called for more health education and realistic, balanced information in this area.
Lesley Bruce is the Manager of the North Trent Cancer Research Network. She gave a big YES to the question - research IS changing cancer treatments! She acknowledged the support of clinical colleagues, financial supporters and patients.
Dr Karen Collins, Chair of the Supportive and Primary Care Oncology Research Group (SPORG), gave an overview of SPORG and the unique collaboration between cancer researchers and consumers. She explained how grants are allocated and the involvement of consumers in research; this clearly illustrates ‘how patients, carers, health care professionals and researchers can work together at all stages of the research process’.
Lynda Wyld is Senior Lecturer in Surgical Oncology at Sheffield University and is interested in the treatment of older women with breast cancer. She explained that ‘older women are more likely to die with breast cancer that from it’, and is currently developing the ESTEEM trial, which deals with these issues.
Prof Sam H Ahmedzai examined how patients benefit from clinical trials. He also expressed a need for more patient education and patient-led research.
Dr David Levy, Medical Adviser to the Department of Health, gave the Keynote Speech on the recent advances in the care of patients with brain tumours. He also explained the fact that he works in a team and the importance of the whole team in treating patients and helping their families.
David Ardron, CRP Vice-Chair, and Sam H Ahmedzai gave the closing remarks thanking the audience for their attendance and contributions. We look forward to seeing everyone next year!
Right, Panel Members joined Researchers to take part in Question Time, chaired by Shirley Harrison.
Photograph courtesy of George Rice
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