Award for Basildon Hospital cancer trial

BASILDON University Hospital has won a bronze award for recruiting a high number of patients to a national trial.The ElaTion trial aims to reduce the number of investigations a patient has to have when it comes to the diagnosis of thyroid cancer.Radiology consultant Thaj Rehman is one of only a handful of doctors in the UK who is trained to carry out the scans.He said: “We are always keen to participate in national medical trials. Consultants are obliged to trial new methods and equipment to help advancements in the care and treatment of patients.”So far we’ve had very good feedback from our patients. It is a national study and we are a small team of two, which is why the achievement, being given this bronze award, is so much greater. Thyroid lumps are very common and around one in 20 are cancerous. The existing recommended way of examining and diagnosing them is by doing an ultrasound and using it to guide a needle into the thyroid lump to remove a sample of cells for testing.This procedure is called ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration cytology, known as FNACs. However sometimes it is difficult to diagnose the nodule and patients have undergo the procedure two or three times, or one in five patients have unnecessary surgery to remove nodules which have been mistakenly categorised as malignant.The voluntary ElaTion study carries out the above test, alongside a new type of test using elastography to determine the firmness of the lump (cancer tends to be a hard lump). In small studies, the two tests together have shown to have high accuracy for correct diagnosis and reduces the need for repeated FNACs.Now the study of 1,000 patients has begun, sponsored by the University of Birmingham.Kerry Goodsell, research nurse said: “It is very lucky we have Dr Rehman and the equipment to be able to take part in the trial at Basildon. The patients who take part feel they are getting an extra set of eyes on them, as the research nurses are on hand to give support to those who take part. Dr Rehman added: “Without the research department, this would not have been possible. They have been so supportive and they are the reason we managed to recruit so many patients to this particular trial. Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust takes part in a variety of different trials for various medical conditions, procedures and treatments. To find out more, please click here.The certificate was awarded by the ElaTion study team, based at Birmingham University.ENDS

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