Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Researchers and patients showcase medical advances of the future

RESEARCHERS from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust showcased how medical research makes a difference to NHS patients’ lives at a special event held at the Northern General Hospital Medical Education Centre on Monday 6 February.

The ‘Making a Difference for Patients’ event provided members of the public, NHS staff and patients with an opportunity to find out more about the wide ranging research that takes place at the Trust, what its impact is on routine clinical care and how it has transformed individual patient’s lives.

Steven Storey, whose story was featured on BBC Panorama, shared his experiences about how a pioneering new stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis enabled him to move his toes within a few days of the transplant. Prior to the treatment Steven was paralysed from the chest down.

The treatment, which is only suitable for patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, involves collecting the patient’s own bone marrow stem cells and freezing them. The patient is then given a high dose of chemotherapy before the stem cells are thawed and re-infused into the patient’s blood to reboot their immune system. The immune system is being reset or rebooted back to a time point before it caused MS. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the only UK site involved in an international trial investigating the potential of the new treatment.

As well as being able to browse a wide range of interactive stands, members of the public, NHS staff and patients found out more about ‘early phase’ cancer trials run at Weston Park Hospital’s Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, or trials where new medicines developed in the laboratory are trialled with patients for the first time.

Innovations in heart disease, the Yorkshire and Humber NHS Genomic Medicine Centre’s ‘100,000 Genomes Project’ and advances in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of devastatingly progressive illnesses such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis were showcased at the event.

Professor Simon Heller, Director of Research and Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: “At this event members of the public, NHS staff and patients found out more about medical research, what it is, its impact on clinical care, and how volunteers play a key role in helping test medical advances that may one day become established treatments of the future.”

To find out more about clinical research opportunities being offered at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust email or contact 0114 226 5935.