Enrolment for a major cancer research study is commencing at Letterkenny University Hospital, with 120 cancer survivors being recruited to take part in the programme.
The research team is looking for people who are over 18, overweight and interested in improving their lives.
60 people will receive specialised support and advice from nurses, a physiotherapist, a dietitian and a psychologist, the remaining 60 will receive standard follow up care.
The selection of which people are in which group will be done on a completely random basis.
Dr Janice Richmond is one of the programme's co-ordinators ; she says anyone interested in taking part can contact the research team directly...........
Statement in full -
Enrolment for a major cancer research study is commencing in Donegal, home to over 5,500 cancer survivors.
Funded by Donegal Relay for Life, the Irish Cancer Society research study, is based at Letterkenny University Hospital and is investigating the impact of a personalised self-management lifestyle programme using mobile technology and focusing on the health and wellbeing of survivors of the disease.
Researchers are aiming to enrol 120 people for the study with 60 of them to receive support and advice from nurses, a physiotherapist, a dietitian and a psychologist.
A corresponding group of similar numbers will receive the usual care. Each of the participants will wear fitbits to monitor any changes to their physical activity.
“There are 165,000 cancer survivors in Ireland today, more than 5,500 in Donegal alone, so patient focussed research projects are vital when it comes to making sure that cancer survivors are given the best possible care and support when it comes to their overall wellbeing,” Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, Dr Robert O’Connor indicated.
The Society’s cancer research project was, he said, made possible by the “tireless work of the dedicated Relay for Life Donegal committee and their supporters” across the length and breadth of the county.
More people are now living longer after cancer and even being cured in more than half of all cases. Cancer treatment is difficult and can affect how someone is able to get back to work, care for their loved ones or just be involved in life again. Often they attend hospital appointments but these do not always help people get their general health back on track.
The study team want to see if they can improve how people feel both physically and psychologically after they have had cancer. This involves approaching people who have had cancer and are overweight and asking them to take part in this study. Being overweight has been shown to make people feel less well overall and has been shown to negatively affect cure rates following cancer.
The study team will follow people during the three months that they are on the programme to see how their weight, fitness, diet and well-being has improved compared with those who received the usual care. They will be followed for a further three months after completing the programme. It is hoped that this programme will identify ways to increase the quality of life and health of those who participate.
The researchers are looking for 120 cancer patients between the age of 18 and 70 who are completing treatment, are overweight and would like to improve their lifestyle.
The team behind the trial are now looking for people who fit the criteria and would like to participate in advance of starting on the study in early 2018.
Relay for Life Donegal are delighted to be able to fund and support the Irish Cancer Society’s work and are pleased that it is at this stage of recruiting people onto the study.
“It represents a great boost for cancer services and we hope that we will reap the benefits of this very significant trial in the months and years to come.
“The money raised from Donegal Relay for Life – 100,000 euro has been provided for the project – is going towards the trial at Letterkenny University Hospital where a specialized team has been established to run it,” chairperson of the Donegal Relay for Life, Robert O’Connor commented.
The nurse researchers Dr. Janice Richmond, Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Mary Grace Kelly, Oncology Research Nurse who are running the study are based in the Oncology Department of Letterkenny University Hospital - The team can be contacted by telephone: 074 9104642.