1,500 in cancer studies

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MORE cancer patients in Halifax are taking part in clinical trials than in any other district general hospital in Yorkshire.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has about 1,500 patients currently taking part in research for the Yorkshire Cancer Research Network.

They are taking part in trials for new therapies and drugs for a wide range of cancers including breast, ovarian, bowel, lung, bladder, prostate, stomach, oesophagus and blood cancers.

Only the cancer centre at Leeds Teaching Hospital enters more patients.

The trust is highlighting the importance of research to prevent cancer and also offer the best survival chances.

Senior research sister at the trust, Denise Hancock, said good relations and understanding between consultants and patients was central to the success of trials.

She said: “We have consultants here who are very enthusiastic about research.

“Our patients are helping to shape the cancer care of the future and that is something we are all very proud of.

“Their support is making sure patients in years to come will receive the very best care.”

She said many current standard treatments had come about through trials local patients were part of in the past.

One example of this is the use of Trastuzumab (herceptin) which is given after surgery for breast cancer to increase the chance of a cure.

In recent years increasing numbers of patients are joining trials.

In the past year, 170 new patients joined trials at the trust – almost double the numbers in 2006/7 – thanks to the work of the research team as well as other supportive departments in the trust.