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Pat Stone Meso Support/Mesothelioma UK grant awarded to study which aims to reduce the need for diagnostic surgery

Amy Kerr photo_June 2017
Amy Kerr, Senior thoracic surgery research nurse

The grant, for £21,795, has been awarded to Amy Kerr, Senior thoracic surgery research nurse at the Medical Innovation Development Research Unit (MIDRU) at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham. The grant will fund a study into non-invasive diagnosis of mesothelioma using structured light plethysmography (SLP).

SLP is a new diagnosis method which measures chest wall motion which can highlight differences according to the disease which is causing abnormalities on chest X rays or CT scans.

Amy said: “I must say that I am humbled, honoured, and at the same time excited to receive the award from Pat Stone Meso Support, Mesothelioma UK and the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (NLCFN). This funding will give us a fantastic opportunity to transform the diagnosis pathway for Mesothelioma patients for the better.”

Amy Kerr diagnostic procedure photo

The non-invasive process only takes five minutes and uses squares of light in a chequerboard to detect chest wall motion by changes in the size of the squares as the patient breathes. 

Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK Director of Services and Consultant Nurse, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Pat Stone Meso Support and the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses (NLCFN) to offer this grant for such an innovative study. We’re excited to hear about the results of the study which we hope will inform current diagnostic processesand perhaps lessen the need for surgery for people with suspected mesothelioma.”

Graham Pound from Pat Stone Meso Support said: “Pat Stone Meso Support is extremely proud to be associated with this opportunity which has the potential to further the understanding and care of sufferers of this cancer which continues to take the lives of substantially more people than are killed on our roads each year.” 

A pilot study at MIDRU with 15 patients found significant differences is chest wall motion and has shown to be a promising tool to help diagnose the cause of pleural disease such as the differences between mesothelioma and benign pleural thickening.

Emerging results of the study will be presented at the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses conference in November 2018.

Integrating SLP into future clinical practice to diagnose mesothelioma could improve the diagnostic process for patients with possible mesothelioma and reduce the need for hospital admission for invasive investigations.

It could reduce the length of time patients have to wait for a diagnosis and it offers patients, who are not well enough to have surgery, a more confident diagnosis for their pleural disease which could help provide evidence for compensation claims.

For press enquiries, please contact:

Simon Gribbon, on behalf of Mesothelioma UK
Mobile: 07584 088353
Email:   simon@sandstarcomms.com