In November 2014, the charity undertook a quinquennial review of our full research programme. An international panel of independent experts, led by Sir John Pattison, former Professor of Medical Microbiology at University College London (UCL) and Head of Research and Development in the NHS, reviewed all the research we have supported over the last five years (2009-2014). The review took place at UCL where the core Eve Appeal research team from the Department of Women’s Cancer presented and discussed the detail of their research with the expert panel. This is an important process for independently reviewing the quality and progress that our research is making in the understanding, risk prediction and earlier detection of women’s cancers.
The panel found that our research was making progress across all core strands of research activity. The strength of our department was reflected in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework which measures the quality of research from more than 52,000 academics in 154 universities. UCL was first in terms of impactful research – and it’s this commitment to supporting research that has an impact in terms of understanding and earlier diagnosis that is critical for The Eve Appeal in our mission to make a difference on women’s cancers.
The work under review can be split into four main sections:
- Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre – continued trials in national and international significance in the field of screening for ovarian cancer. Results from UKCTOCS are due out in 2015 and the biobank of clinical samples is an exceptional resource and has been made available for additional studies. The Eve Appeal has funded in whole or in part the projects undertaken by the Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre.
- Translational Research Centre – lays the foundations for novel approaches to risk prediction and early detection. Two studies have been completed and early funding by The Eve Appeal enabled the successful application for major EU funding for the EpiFemCare programme.
- Cancer Proteomics Group – works on the discovery and validation of serum bio-markers. This is a challenging field but progress is evident.
- Patient Care Research Group – focuses on issues given high priority by women at risk or have diagnosed with a women’s cancer. A completed trial showed how to improve follow up women after ovarian cancer treatment. The Eve Appeal provided seed funding that enabled this team to build in capacity and attract significantly more external funding.
The overall conclusion was very encouraging:
“The review panel was convinced of the key role that funding from The Eve Appeal has played, and continues to play, in supporting the ambitious research programme. The charity can take credit for the elements it has funded in whole or in part and the manner in which its support has enabled the UCL Department of Women’s Cancer to be innovative and leverage further external funding. There is no doubt that this research is contributing to international understanding of gynaecological cancers and their management. It will have significant impacts. The Trustees of The Eve Appeal can be very satisfied with the return on the charity’s investments in the last 5 years.” Sir John Pattison, Chair, Review Panel, 2014