Research Grant won by cancer specialists

Cancer specialists at the NNUH, who are looking at ways of improving the quality of life of patients after undergoing invasive surgery have won an international grant to further their studies.

The $60,000 (£46,500) clinical research grant was awarded to the colorectal cancer team, led by consultant surgeon Mr Irshad Shaikh, who applied to USA-based innovations company Intuitive, which looks to advance innovation in minimally invasive procedures.

We perform approximately 250-300 colon & rectum cancer procedures a year. These can either be open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, or using robotic-assisted technology enhanced surgery. Mr Shaikh has performed approximately 90 of these robotic assisted procedures, helping to make us one of the UK’s top performers in terms of numbers of such robotic procedures carried out.

Mr Shaikh says: “Technology-enhanced surgery is expected to improve the postoperative quality of life and perioperative outcomes of patients, however there is a lack of evidence. This year-long study will help us gather this evidence. The recently published document from the Royal College of Surgeons  titled ‘Future of Surgery’ suggests that robotic surgery is expected have great impact in surgical treatment in the next 10 years.

He adds: “In light of the high volume of colorectal activity at the NNUH, we are in a position to offer research in colorectal cancers. It is important to improve the quality of life of our patients and this research is expected to facilitate that.”

Colorectal research nurse Jane McCulloch will be comparing the quality of life outcomes and patient perspectives of those who have undergone open surgery, laparoscopies or robotic-assisted surgery.

On the back of a HSJ value award for surgical services, in 2019, Mr Shaikh applied for the open grant, which is determined by peer review.

The team consist of surgeons, surgical care practitioners, theatre practitioners, assistant surgeons and anaesthetists. We currently have one robot shared by Urology and Colorectal surgery. There are plans to invest in two more latest generation robots. This will further help in expanding our robotic program across range of specialities.

The research team includes, Consultant Surgeons Mr Irshad Shaikh, Mr James Hernon, Mr Adam Stearns and Mr Sandeep Kapur, Surgical Care Practitioner Ms Dolly Dowsett, Colorectal Research Nurse Mrs Jane McCulloch, Dr Gabriella Thorpe, from the University of East Anglia and Mr Michael Sheridan from the Norwich Research team.

Mr Shaikh said he expected the study to begin in the next two or three months.

Wednesday 11th of March 2020 10:51:14 AM