Recognising pioneering research in national exhibition

Thu, 18 Nov 2021 11:57:00 GMT

Pioneering care and research delivered by cancer researchers is featured in a new national exhibition on cancer breakthroughs, which also highlights how this research has been designed to help address inequalities in cancer detection, care and treatment.

Cancer is one of the University’s five research beacons, examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.

Half (50%) of people diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales are now surviving their disease across most cancer types for ten years or more (2010-11), yet cancer survival remains generally lower for people living in more deprived areas.

Despite the advances in survival rates that have been made, there are still huge steps to take, such as ensuring research benefits those most in need to help achieve better outcomes for everyone.

The University's contribution to levelling up health equity via research is highlighted in the exhibition ‘Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation, and hope’, which is now open at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, before moving to London in March.

Supported by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), it features work by a number of researchers and explores the past, present, and future of how cancer is prevented, detected, and treated, through never-before-seen objects, personal stories, films, photography, and interactive exhibits.

The University’s critical role in improving cancer outcomes is highlighted through the showcasing of our pioneering new discoveries which have improved cancer outcomes. At the same time, the exhibition shows how Manchester's research has focussed on redressing health inequalities to ensure that research discoveries impact where they are needed most.

One such exhibit is the Lung Health Check (LHC) programme which includes a spotlight on the work of LHC’s Dr Phil Crosbie, Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine.

The Manchester Lung Health Check programme, devised by Dr Crosbie and his team, invites current or former smokers for check-ups to spot signs of lung cancer sooner, using mobile screening trucks in supermarket car parks and other convenient locations. Launched in 2016 as research study in collaboration with the University, it was devised to reach people living in socially and economically deprived communities who were at high risk of developing lung cancer but were least likely to attend a hospital screening appointment. This innovative community screening has helped with early detection and associated improved patient outcomes in disadvantaged communities. The pilot detected cancer in one in every 23 people screened, allowing patients to receive life-saving treatment.

This Manchester model, designed to redress a health inequality, was so successful that in 2019, NHS England announced lung health checks were to be trialled across England.

November is lung cancer awareness month. Dr Crosbie, Senior Lecturer at The University, explains: “Sadly Manchester has the highest rate of deaths for lung cancer in the country. The Manchester Lung Health Check programme has helped bring cancer screening closer to communities and saved lives by identifying and treating the disease sooner."

“The project has gone from a successful pilot to a full clinical service across the city, as well as being the blueprint for a potential national lung cancer screening service. We’re extremely proud to have a developed this in Manchester, and we’re excited to share our work alongside other cancer breakthroughs for this fantastic exhibition.”

You can read more about the work of Philip Crosbie in Cancer Futures magazine and the exhibition is free (though booking is recommended) and runs until March 2022. Tickets are available from the Science and Industry Museum website.

For more information on the work of the Cancer beacon, please contact Kate Tidman, Research Communications Manager.