Cutting-edge techniques that could radically improve patient treatments will be rolled out at the new Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital.
That is the ambition of researchers and doctors who have launched a study with Addenbrooke’s patients that involves harnessing the power of integrated cancer medicine.
The University of Cambridge has created a touching film about the women who are making this research happen and have become close, supportive friends.
Among them is Margaret (pictured below right) who says participation has helped her to understand her illness better and keep a more positive attitude.
She hopes that volunteering will help benefit all women with ovarian cancer, and urges anyone in her position to come forward, saying:
I’m more positive about everything since joining the group. I hope that, even if there is no improvement for treatments for me, that at a later date I may help other people.
Lorraine was first diagnosed in 2019 and underwent chemotherapy in 2020. She said:
The thing about ovarian cancer is the mortality rates haven’t changed in over 20 years, but hopefully with all the advancements they are making, I could live to 90.
Researchers are using the latest machine learning technologies to pull complex patient data – such as imaging scans, digital pathology, genomic information, and advanced blood tests from multiple sources – all into one convenient place.
The advantage is that clinicians across different disciplines and in different places will have more meaningful information at their fingertips, and be better placed to tailor treatment to individuals, and predict the response.
The application has the potential to put Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital, which one of 40 the Government wants to build across England by 2030, at the vanguard of latest treatments and improve cancer treatment in the UK and abroad.
Senior group leader at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Professor of ovarian cancer medicine in the University’s Department of Oncology, James Brenton, said:
The cure rate for women with ovarian cancer regrettably remains very low. Bringing together complex data with machine learning techniques means clinicians will be able to make better decisions for patients, not just in Cambridge but by sharing the model with other hospitals, across the UK.
These studies would not be possible without the support and input of our patient group who are critical collaborators in this work.
The new application is being developed by the University of Cambridge, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and GE Healthcare with the help of patients with ovarian and other hard to treat cancers, with ambitions to broaden this out to other cancers in the future.
The work is part of a wider research programme at the University of Cambridge’s Mark Foundation Institute for Integrated Cancer Medicine (MFICM), which includes work on breast, renal, pancreatic cancer and patients with high-grade B cell lymphoma. The research is funded by The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK.
Professor of oncological imaging in the University’s Department of Radiology, Evis Sala, added:
The combined expertise and resources being deployed to help fight cancer in Cambridge offers real promise for improving the way we manage the disease in our NHS in the years to come.
The University of Cambridge along with its industry partners and the life sciences community here will help the UK lead the world in the research and treatment of a variety of cancers.