Lung cancer research fellowship

We fund a clinical research fellow at the University of Nottingham to investigate how we can improve lung cancer survival in the UK.

Dr Emma O'Dowd is analysing existing data on how patients are diagnosed and treated to establish why some have a poor prognosis.

It is hoped the research will identify common features associated with those patients who have a poor prognosis and identify how we can improve things.

The research aims to address the following questions;

  • Why do some patients have a poor prognosis?
  • Do patients who have potentially curative interventions differ in their interaction with primary care?
  • What is the best measure in terms of predicting treatment and outcomes?
  • What specific characteristics of a general practice are associated with more effective cancer care?
  • What are patients and healthcare professionals attitudes to lung cancer?
  • What are the barriers to early diagnosis of lung cancer?
  • What is good palliative care?

In a report published in October 2014, researchers highlighted that family doctors may not be picking up the signs of lung cancer and investigating them as appropriately as they might, or promptly enough.

The findings suggest that Dr O’Dowd found that those who died within three months had seen their GP an average five times before they finally received a diagnosis. Her team analysed a sample 20,140 cases of lung cancer seen at 440 GP surgeries between 2000 and 2013.

Further findings are expected to be published in due course.

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