Dr Shobha Silva
Thanks to your generosity and dedicated support, we are able to fund vital research fellowships and invest in health for the future, enabling Weston Park Hospital to remain at the forefront of cancer care.
But don’t just take our word for it.
Without “pivotal support and funding,” from Weston Park Cancer Charity, Consultant in breast and melanoma cancer at Weston Park Hospital, Dr Shobha Silva doubts that her vital research into melanoma relapses would have been able to go ahead.
“The research fellowship [funded by Weston Park Cancer Charity] looked at developing a blood test to try and detect melanoma relapses sooner. Currently, after a patients’ melanoma has been removed surgically, they return to hospital every three months for a consultation, and receive scans every six months, and this happens for around five to ten years – so you are faced with only being able to detect a relapse if and when the melanoma returns.
“So the whole point of the fellowship was to say: can we pick this up even sooner by looking at DNA in the blood?
“We set up a study in Sheffield and recruited melanoma patients at Weston Park Hospital and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital who had agreed to donate a blood sample when they returned to hospital every three months. We then studied the samples to see whether we could develop a robust enough test to detect the melanoma.”
“There is more work to be done for us to be able fine tune the test to pick it up really early on – research is only the preliminary stage – but we can pick it up, and the results are very promising.
“State-of-the-art analysis and research like this is not inexpensive, and this would never had have happened if Weston Park Cancer Charity hadn’t been able to provide pivotal support and funding. I am extremely grateful.
“We have now gone on to publish the research – which is very exciting, as we’ve only just scratched the surface. I’m excited to see where we go now.”