One of our main aims is to raise funds for research into womb cancer, principally undertaken within the womb cancer research team at the University of Manchester. The research group, led by Professor Crosbie focuses its efforts on the prevention, screening, early detection and treatment of womb cancer. In doing so, it also supports the careers of budding gynaecological oncologists and 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. They are developing womb cancer risk prediction tools that will identify those at higher risk of womb cancer who might benefit from different prevention strategies. Over recent years, there have been a rising number of young women diagnosed with womb cancer. The team are looking into whether hormonal treatments work in those with early-stage cancer or pre-cancer, to enable young women to keep their wombs and have children in the future. Last year, as a direct result of their extensive research into the inherited condition Lynch syndrome, which increases the risk of womb and bowel cancer, changes in national guidelines were made with regards to screening for this condition in women diagnosed with womb cancer. This will have a huge impact on the future health of these patients and the health of their families. In addition, the team is investigating whether a non-invasive diagnostic test could be used to screen for womb cancer in those with Lynch Syndrome, so that women may be able to avoid preventative surgery in the future.
Currently, the research undertaken by the womb cancer research team is funded by bodies such as Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research. Grants for womb cancer research projects are in competition with other cancer types, such as breast and ovary, and competition is fierce. As Peaches Womb Cancer Trust grows over the coming years, we aspire to become funders of womb cancer research ourselves, dedicated to improving the lives of those with or at risk of womb cancer.
While we build our resources, we are focusing on promoting womb cancer research and supporting early career researchers. We offer bursaries to researchers presenting their work at national or international conferences.
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.