Dr Britton was appointed 1 year ago as a Clinical Research Fellow in the breast cancer team. She attends research clinics to ensure that Christie breast cancer patients are offered clinical trials where available, and is working with fellow researchers to develop an exciting trial to improve outcomes for breast, lung and renal cancer patients receiving immunotherapy treatments.
Patients on the trial will be given Celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory drug that is more commonly used to treat arthritis.
Previous research showed that inflammation within cancer tumours can help them to grow and spread, and small-scale evidence suggests Celecoxib can help improve a patient’s response to immunotherapy. Dr Britton’s team now want to investigate this more fully, working with patients at The Christie and other cancer centres across the UK.
On joining the programme, one of Dr Emma Searle’s aims had been to give better clinical trial access to local haematology patients, who previously had to travel to centres in the South of England to take part in them.
Her fellowship has enabled her to spend crucial time developing early phase haematology research experience and visiting UK centres delivering early phase clinical trials. It proved to be the springboard Dr Searle needed, and she now works full time as a Christie consultant delivering experimental therapy to patients with relapsed and refractory leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloma.
Dr Lewis is working on research that will help us to better understand sarcopenia – or muscle loss – and ultimately improve patients’ quality of life.
She is investigating two common symptoms associated with cancer. One is appetite loss, which is a poorly understood but very common and distressing symptom, especially amongst patients with cancer of the stomach.
The other work is around sarcopenia, or loss of muscle. She is working to understand how it corresponds with physical fitness, and how that might relate to treatment side effects which have a major impact on patients’ quality of life.
Dr Shah is part of a team working on a clinical trial that aims to improve quality of life for patients with pancreatic cancer by improving assessment, diagnosis and management of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (PEI).
Pancreatic cancers can cause problems with digestion of food. As a result, patients with this type of cancer can lose weight suddenly – this can make patients either too unwell to start or continue treatment.
Dr Shah hopes the information obtained from this study will help to provide better nutritional assessment and support for patients with pancreatic tumours in the future.