Cancer Research UK is funding a three-year study into deaths caused by venous thromboembolism (VTE or blood clotting) in cancer patients at the University of Nottingham. The study is being conducted by the University’s Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, with lead researcher Dr Matthew Grainge saying, “This detailed analysis will show us more precisely when people with cancer are at greatest risk of venous thromboembolism compared with the general population within periods defined by cancer treatment, time since diagnosis and hospitalisation.” It is hoped that approximately 3,000 deaths from VTE in cancer patients could be saved with early, preventative treatment.

The risk of VTE appears to be higher in cancer patients, with the risk factor increasing with treatment such as surgery and chemotherapy. The research project will analyse data from 500,000 patients to be better able to assess the risk posed by VTE in approximately twenty different types of cancer.

Joe West, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, also professes the need to develop preventative cures in order to increase the risk of survival in cancer patients with VTE – “Epidemiological studies like this are vital in the fight to cut the number of preventable deaths in this group of patients who are already suffering from cancer and enduring the effects of its treatment.”

Information will be analysed from the General Practice Research Database, the Hospital Episode Statistics database and Cancer Registries, and these 100,000 cases will be compared to samples from 500,000 patients. Meanwhile at Nottingham Trent University, the John and Lucille van Geest Foundation have funded a £7.65m cancer research centre based at the University’s Clifton campus. Scientists at Nottingham Trent will work in conjunction with scientists from the University of Nottingham to harness new technology that will increase the speed of diagnosis of cancer and develop new treatments.

Settit Beyene

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