The Springfields Employees’ Medical Research & Charity Trust Fund is to give Rosemere Cancer Foundation £966.23 to cover the cost of a freezer unit and storage vials that are essential to the set-up of Lancashire’s and South Cumbria’s Cardiothoracic and Biofluid Research Bank, which the charity is funding to the tune of £32,590.18 over the next three years.
The research bank will collect tissue, blood, urine and saliva from patients, who have agreed to donate their samples, and are already undergoing lung cancer treatment at Blackpool Victoria Hospital – Lancashire and South Cumbria’s specialist cardiothoracic disease (heart/lung) centre, which undertakes both counties’ lung cancer surgery.
These samples will be stored within the cellular pathology department at the Royal Preston Hospital, which will make them available to local consultants and university scientists to help them in their research to identify new treatments for what is the UK’s third most common cancer, as well as new diagnostic tools given that rates of the disease are not only higher in the North West than in other parts of the country but also, the region has a higher than national average lung cancer death rate.
Dan Hill, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s chief officer, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Springfields Employees’ Medical Research & Charity Trust Fund for this donation. It is a significant amount of money that has gone to pay for essential equipment.
“Its award saves us precious funds from money set aside for this project, which by the time our commitment ends, should be self-financing, with the tissue bank having made samples available nationally at cost to pharmaceutical and other UK research centres. In the short term, it means we can put the money the donation is saving towards other projects.”
The Springfields research and charity trust fund has a history of supporting Rosemere Cancer Foundation. In 2018, it gave the charity £3,748.58 for equipment to help set up a Rosemere funded oncology clinical trials nurse at the National Institute of Health Research Lancashire Clinical Research Facility (CRF), which is within the grounds of the Royal Preston Hospital.
In 2016, Rosemere Cancer Foundation also received £3,341 to spend on new furnishings for Rosemere Cancer Centre’s Ribblesdale Ward family room and in 2014 and 2015, a total of £1,413 for DVD players and films for use by patients again on Ribblesdale Ward and also, by those attending the centre’s Day Case Chemotherapy Unit.
Janet Stevenson, secretary of Springfields Employees’ Medical Research & Charity Trust Fund, said: “We recognise the importance of developing a tissue and biofluid bank to facilitate an increase in local level lung cancer research. This is invaluable to improving patient outcomes in the future and we are delighted to be able to support Rosemere Cancer Foundation once again.”
Rosemere Cancer Foundation works to bring world class cancer treatments and services to cancer patients from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria being treated at Rosemere Cancer Centre, the region’s specialist cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre at the Royal Preston Hospital, and also at another eight local hospital cancer units across the two counties, including that at Blackpool Victoria Hospital .
The charity funds cutting edge equipment, research, training and other cancer services and therapies that the NHS is unable to afford. For further information on its work, including how to make a donation, visit www.rosemere.org.uk