More than £2.2m awarded to Leeds researchers to tackle cancer

Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds have been awarded over £2.2million from Yorkshire Cancer Research.

The charity has announced investment of £3.6m in eight new research projects to help improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Yorkshire. The projects at the University of Leeds include:

  • £1.3m in a four-year programme of research that will improve the quality of palliative care in the region. Researchers at the University of Leeds’ Academic Unit of Palliative Care, led by Professor Michael Bennett, and at Hull York Medical School, led by Prof Fliss Murtagh, will investigate how and when patients access palliative care, introduce new measures to improve how symptoms are formally assessed and monitored, and equip clinical teams with resources and training to help them address those symptoms.
  • £357,000 in a project to help women with breast cancer reduce their risk of the disease returning. Researchers led by Dr Samuel Smith and Dr Christopher Graham at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences will design and test a programme of therapy sessions to see if a psychological intervention can help increase the number of women who take hormonal therapies as prescribed to stop their cancer from coming back.
  • A £174,000 trial will test whether participation in cervical screening can be increased by sending women additional information and a help sheet. The trial, involving thousands of women aged 25-49 across Yorkshire, will be carried out by researchers at the University of Leeds’ School of Psychology and led by Professor Daryl O’Connor.
  • Researchers at the University of Leeds’ Institute of Cancer and Pathology, led jointly by Dr Ane Appelt and Dr Simon Gollins and supported by a £394,000 investment, will carry out a phase II clinical trial of radiotherapy for early rectal cancer. The trial will test whether using a higher dose of radiotherapy can increase the number of patients whose cancer completely disappears following treatment with acceptable side-effects

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We are extremely proud to announce our latest research investment. The successful projects will address some incredibly important issues currently facing cancer patients in Yorkshire, including quality of life following diagnosis and how we can work to improve this.

“The most exciting thing about these projects is that thousands of people and patients across the region will have the chance to share their knowledge and guide our researchers in finding solutions to problems they face in improving their health and accessing early diagnosis and the very best care.

“We’d like to thank the charity’s supporters throughout the region who have made this investment possible. From holding Yorkshire tea parties to running marathons, every penny they have raised has been vital in helping us bring this pioneering research to Yorkshire.”