Trust awarded £108,000 in additional research funding

The Trust’s research team has been successful, following three successful bids, in gaining additional funding of £108,000 from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The funding pays for staff to work on research projects until 31 March 2019 in three different areas – cancer, renal medicine and multi-specialty research.

Phillip Smith, the Trust’s associate director for research and development, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Hertfordshire, said:

“The Trust is building an even stronger reputation for the breadth and quality of its research programmes and this latest round of funding success is further proof of the confidence that national funders have in the work being undertaken at our hospitals. The funding provided by the NIHR will continue to help us build our research relationships with colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire and Brunel University amongst others.”

£25,000 was awarded to fund a clinical trials practitioner who will work at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre on a project known as CICATRIX that is being conducted with Brunel University. The study aims to demonstrate whether circulating tumour cells and lymphocytes in various solid tumours can be identified and quantified, allowing them to be used, therefore, to monitor ongoing metastatic disease. It is hoped that predictions of prognosis and responsiveness to therapeutic strategies might also emerge. Exploratory studies of circulating lymphocytes are also planned in the hope that changes in these cells might also supply earlier information about cancer recurrence and, perhaps, treatment options.

A further £64,000 was awarded to fund a research nurse to support an expanding number of renal studies that have originated from the team at the Lister, working with colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire. These projects include estimating physical activity in patients with chronic kidney disease and if initiating haemodialysis twice-weekly may protect existing kidney function.

Finally, a multi-specialty team at the Lister received £19,000 to fund a research nurse to support several studies underway currently. This work includes involvement in a national trial on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of tonsillectomy in adults. The research is seeking to find better treatment plans for adults with persistent sore throats that cause many adult hospital admissions in the UK each year. The aim is to understand more about what sore throats people might continue to have after the operation and which patients stand to gain most from surgery as opposed to using antibiotics and or pain killers.

This additional funding will help the trust to provide more opportunities for local patients to take part in research. The Trust’s research strategy has a vision of enhancing patient experience and outcome through research opportunity for all patients and all staff. During 2016/7, the Trust supported the entry of 2,715 participants to a total of 161 research projects covering mainly cancer, renal, cardiology and diabetes amongst a range of clinical disciplines.