research at peaches womb cancer trust
One of our main aims is to raise funds for research into womb cancer. Over recent years, there have been rising numbers of womb cancer diagnoses. Currently, womb cancer research is funded by bodies such as Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research. Grants for womb cancer research are in competition with other cancer types, such as breast, cervix and ovary. Consequently competition is fierce, resulting in less womb cancer research being funded Our long term vision at Peaches Womb Cancer Trust is to become funders of womb cancer research ourselves. Increasing the availability of grants and funding specifically for womb cancer research is vitally important to improve survival, quality of life and care for those suffering from womb cancer.
Research projects require large sums of money to fund, often hundreds of thousands of pounds. As a small and very new charity, we do not currently have the resources to fund large scale research, however we are building our charity so that we will be able to do this in the future. In the interim, we are focusing on promoting womb cancer research undertaken throughout the UK and supporting early career researchers (such as medical students, doctors undertaking higher research degrees and basic scientists who are completing their PhD or a post-doctoral fellowship). We also offer bursaries to researchers presenting their work at national and international conferences.
The Peaches Patient Voices group is making a big difference by promoting and supporting womb cancer research. Peaches Patient Voices is an amazing group of people with lived experience of womb cancer, either as patients or carers, who are keen to use their lived experience of womb cancer to inform and contribute to research. We have connected the Peaches Patient Voices members with a range of different projects, which has been enormously beneficial to the researchers and often rewarding for the Peaches Patient Voices members. For more information please see Peaches Patient Voices and to get involved please email email@example.com.
How to apply
We welcome bursary applications at any time from medical students, trainees (pre-CCT) and scientists (fewer than three years post PhD) who have been accepted to present their work at national and international conferences. Preference will be given to applicants whose research pertains to prevention, screening, early detection or treatment of endometrial cancer. To apply, please send an abstract or short lay summary of your research (max 300 words) and a copy of your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successful applicants will have their summaries published on the Peaches Womb Cancer Trust website and also on our social media channels.
Recipients of Peaches bursaries so far
Dr Mark Brincat
Mark is an Obstetrics and Gynaecology trainee, currently working at the Royal London Hospital in the Gynaecology Oncology department. His research, titled “Mismatch repair protein expression defects in endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma” was presented at the RCOG Annual Academic Meeting in February 2021. This work, undertaken during Mark’s Master of Science in Oncology degree at Newcastle University, looked for mismatch repair defects (gene changes) in womb cancers. Finding defective expression of mismatch repair proteins impacts on what type of treatment women can have and also has significant consequences for the patient’s children and relatives, as these tumour gene changes may represent a familial genetic susceptibility to gynaecological cancer (Lynch syndrome). This research was the driving force behind several clinical improvement projects that benefit both womb cancer patients and their loved ones, which we felt tied in very nicely with our aims at Peaches.
Miss Olivia Jones
Olivia is a medical student at the University of Manchester, and she has recently completed an intercalated Masters of Research degree. Olivia’s ambition is to improve women’s health outcomes through research. Her research, titled “The Womb Cancer Awareness Measure – Development of a Tool to Assess Public Awareness” was presented at the International Gynaecologic Cancer Society Global Meeting in Rome in August 2021. This work gathered data from more than 800 participants and showed that the British population generally have low awareness of womb cancer symptoms and cannot distinguish what increases their womb cancer risk. Olivia hopes that the results of this study will help to improve awareness of this common, yet largely overlooked cancer, amongst all those at risk. This is something that we at Peaches think is vitally important.
Miss Olivia Aurangzeb
Olivia is a medical student at the University of Manchester who aspires to specialise in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the future. Her work, titled “The Effect of Physical Activity on Endometrial Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review” was presented at the RCOG Annual Academic Meeting in February 2022. Olivia conducted this research using data from the current literature as well as the UK Biobank during an Applied Personal Excellence Pathway (APEP) in the third year of her medical degree. We agree with Olivia that it is vital to find ways to prevent endometrial cancer to reduce the impact of this devastating cancer.
Dr Kelechi Njoku
Kelechi is a Cancer Research (UK) Clinical Research Fellow and a Wellcome Trust Manchester Translational Informatics Scholar. He is also an academic Clinical Oncology Specialist Registrar at the University of Leeds, having recently completed a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Fellowship in Oncology. He has expertise in applied epidemiology and translational cancer medicine with a focus on screening, prevention and early detection of cancers. He has particular interest in biomarker discovery using high throughput technologies (proteomics and metabolomics) in conjunction with advanced computational analyses and machine learning techniques. He is currently completing a Doctorate in Cancer Sciences at the University of Manchester on a CRUK funded Clinical Research Fellowship. His work, titled “Pre-treatment inflammatory parameters predict survival from endometrial cancer: a prospective database analysis” was presented at the RCOG Annual Academic Meeting in February 2022. This research found that C-Reactive Protein (a common blood test that is a marker of inflammation) may be useful as a simple, low-cost prognostic test to help guide treatments and follow- up programs, to create a more personalised approach to endometrial cancer care. We at Peaches really hope to see more developments like this so that in the future everyone diagnosed with womb cancer will have their treatment tailored to them.
Research carried out by the Peaches Trustees
Separate to their Peaches work, many of the founding Trustees of Peaches Womb Cancer Trust are also active cancer researchers within the research group led by Professor Emma Crosbie. Their research focuses its efforts on the prevention, screening, early detection and treatment of womb cancer. This research group also supports the career development of budding gynaecological oncology cancer surgeons and clinical researchers. The research team has several ongoing studies looking into the use of non-invasive tests for womb cancer detection, with the vision that one day these could be used within GP surgeries and could reduce the number of women that need to undergo invasive investigations. The team are developing womb cancer risk prediction tools that aim to identify those at higher risk of womb cancer, who might benefit from different prevention strategies. Another area of research is looking into hormonal treatments for those with early-stage cancer or pre-cancer, to enable women of reproductive age to keep their wombs and have children in the future. The team is also evaluating the use of calorie restriction and weight loss strategies for the risk reduction of womb cancer. Most recently, as a direct result of the extensive research undertaken by Prof. Crosbie and her team, changes in national guidelines were made with regards to screening for Lynch syndrome. Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that increases the risk of developing womb and bowel cancer. Screening for this condition in women diagnosed with womb cancer is now available within the NHS due to research published by this team. We know this will have a huge impact on the future health of these patients and the health of their families.