Legacy funds Airedale’s own cancer research project
A legacy left by a patient who was cared for and who passed away at Airedale Hospital has funded a new research project, which hopes to create a more accurate blood test to improve cancer diagnosis.
The patient specifically wanted to help cancer research and the project focuses on cancer of the ovary, which is a very difficult cancer to diagnose. It is the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in women in the developed world. Currently, most cases are detected at late stages when less than one in five patients survives five years. However, when it is detected early enough, nine out of ten ovarian cancer patients may survive more than 5 years.
The research will be done at Airedale Hospital and led by Dr Michael Crawford, Clinical Lead for Research at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Crawford says:
“Airedale is an ideal hospital to conduct this research because it is so closely associated with the area it serves, the people who live here and the health services in the community. We are very grateful to have funding from someone local to take this forward.
Researchers at the trust want to find out if they can improve the accuracy of initial tests for conditions in a woman’s pelvis where the ovaries are located. They know that measuring a substance called CA125 is a good way of finding out which women need further tests. Previous research suggests that measuring another substance, HE4, in the blood alongside CA125 might be helpful in achieving this. They hope that by measuring the two together, they will be able to reduce the number of women needing additional tests such as ultrasound scans, whilst still ensuring that those women who need it see a gynaecologist quickly.
Dr Crawford continues:
“If the combined test works as we hope, GPs can be encouraged to investigate more women with the blood test without overloading the ultrasound service or requiring many other tests. This way we may expect to see more women diagnosed in time to achieve a better outcome. “