Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
11:44 AM 5th March 2019

Yorkshire Cancer Research Announces £6.5m Investment

Yorkshire Cancer Research has today (Tuesday, March 5) announced a £6.5m investment in research projects and health services.

The funding will focus on improving early diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for cancer patients living in the region.

By addressing specific issues within Yorkshire, the charity aims to have a direct impact on the number of people who survive cancer and go on to live long and healthy lives.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:
“We want to ensure people with cancer in Yorkshire have the best possible experience, from the point of diagnosis onwards.

“This means improving their opportunity to be diagnosed at the earliest possible stage; ensuring they receive the best treatment for their cancer and providing innovative support programmes so they can be prepared for and recover well from treatment.

“It also means increasing access to cutting-edge treatments and ensuring Yorkshire remains at the forefront of world-class research. This is only possible thanks to the support of Yorkshire people which allows us to invest in innovative projects to help cancer patients in our communities.”

Eight projects have received funding:

A £1.4m investment will fund the development and testing of a new guide to help GPs and practice nurses identify and manage the needs and concerns of people with cancer and their carers. The four-year trial, led by Miriam Johnson, Professor of Palliative Medicine at Hull York Medical School and Director of the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull, will involve more than 1,000 patients living mainly in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

An education and lifestyle programme, including exercise, dietary advice and stop smoking support, will be tested to see if it can improve the wellbeing and survival of patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment to cure their lung cancer. The £193,000 study, led by Dr Kevin Franks and Dr Carole Burnett at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, will recruit patients from the Leeds area. If successful, the programme could be rolled out across the region.

Breast and bowel cancer survivors in Leeds will be invited to report symptoms and side effects using an online system in a £790,000 trial led by Galina Velikova, Consultant in Medical Oncology and Professor at the University of Leeds. Researchers will develop and evaluate the system to see if it is effective in helping patients receive immediate advice or contact from their hospital.

Cutting-edge lung images provided by Sheffield’s world-leading magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) centre will be tested to see if they can help doctors select the best treatment option for lung cancer patients. The £347,000 study, led by Professor Matthew Hatton at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Professor Jim Wild and Dr Bilal Tahir at the University of Sheffield, will involve 40 patients recruited from South Yorkshire.

A £620,000 study led by Anna Roberts and Dr Abi Fisher at University College London will test whether a physical activity mobile app can be used to help patients diagnosed with breast, prostate or bowel cancer in South Yorkshire. If it can be introduced effectively, the team will then explore whether the app increases physical activity, improves quality of life and reduces cancer-related side effects.

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust will receive £712,000 to develop, deliver and evaluate an exercise and health referral service. The service, expected to launch in summer, will be offered to all patients diagnosed with cancer in the Harrogate area. Group exercise activities, one-to-one support and home-based programmes will be designed to prepare patients for surgery, support them through treatment and help them recover from treatment. Evidence shows that exercise following a diagnosis of cancer can help reduce the chance of it returning.

Blood samples will be taken from people taking part in the Leeds Lung Health Check – a pioneering lung screening trial funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research and launched in November 2018. The £1.7m study, led by Dr Phil Crosbie at the University of Manchester, will collect the samples for collaborators to investigate whether they can be used to more accurately determine who should have a lung scan and detect lung cancer earlier.

A pioneering clinical trials centre that has brought innovative treatments to patients living in the region will receive further funding of £723,000. The Yorkshire Cancer Research Centre for Early Phase Clinical Trials, first launched in June 2014 in partnership with the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Leeds and clinicians and scientists at the universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Hull and Bradford, will continue to provide the infrastructure needed to bring more clinical trials to Yorkshire.

Dr Scott added:
“This investment is the result of extensive analysis of the Yorkshire cancer landscape, thorough consultation with patients, family members and carers, and the continued strength of the charity’s partnerships with key organisations across the region. By working together, we can make great strides in helping people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.”