Research & Development

Research and Development (R&D) is a vital element of LTH Trust activity and is undertaken in close collaboration with Leeds University. The Trust is committed to encouraging high quality, ethical and appropriate R&D which makes a significant impact on clinical practice and the wellbeing of patients. Securing funding for high quality R&D is increasingly competitive and the role of the Trustees is crucial to the success of Trust Research & Development.

Statement from Professor Steve Smye

Professor Steve Smye director of Research & Development for Leeds Teaching Hospitals stated “We remain indebted to the Charitable Foundation for the real difference they are making in enabling the Trust to ensure Trust patients benefit from access to leading edge treatments, not only in musculoskeletal disease, but also notably in cancer and cardiovascular. Without the strong support of the Charitable Foundation in recent years the Leeds Teaching Hospitals research portfolio would be considerably poorer, and we want to place on record our gratitude for this tremendous support”.

BCRAG: How to make chemotherapy work better?

The Breast Cancer Research and Action Group have been supporting the research of Robyn Broad at the University of Leeds as she works towards her PhD. She is studying how breast cancers respond to treatment with chemotherapy.

She has found that the presence in breast cancers of fibroblasts, non-cancer cells often associated with wound healing, can protect the cancer cells from chemotherapy which may mean that patients are less likely to be cured by the treatment.

She is currently working out how the fibroblasts change the behaviour of the cancer cells and whether she can add an additional drug to chemotherapy treatments to stop the protection that the fibroblasts stimulate. She recently presented her findings at the Yorkshire Breast Cancer Symposium, held at the University of York on June 9th 2017.


BCRAG: Research into Success of Chemotherapy

BCRAG have recently funded a new PhD student who will be studying factors that influence the success of breast cancer chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is used in the treatment of around 35% of breast cancer patients, but at the moment there is no way of predicting whether a patient will be treated effectively with the available chemotherapy agents.

If we were able to predict the tumours sensitivity to specific chemotherapy agents then therapy responses would be much better and it would of course increase survival rates. This research will help clinicians predict the effectiveness of chemotherapy and also increase understanding of chemotherapy resistance mechanisms.



Pilot Project Awards (PPA)

The PPA scheme is designed to support pilot projects which will lead to a larger research grant application to one of the following bodies;

- Department of Health
- Research Councils (e.g. Medical Research Council)
- Wellcome Trust
- Cancer Research UK
- British Heart Foundation
- Arthritis Research Council
- Charities where funding is awarded following open national competition and subject to peer review

Applicants have had to submit applications with a covering letter stating the national funding body to which the full application would be made.


NIHR BRU bid for Clinical Fellows

A bid was received from the National Institute for Health Research to support five Clinical Research Fellows for the Biomedical Research Unit (LMBRU) at Chapel Allerton Hospital in Orthopaedic surgery, rheumatology, radiology and immunology staggered over a period of 5 years.

Following consideration of the application to the Research and Development Special Advisory group it was agreed to recommend to the Charitable Trustees to initially support two Clinical Research Fellows as Fellowship projects, in accordance with the criteria. The projects are to have an annual review provided to the Research & Development Special Advisory Group.

Finance to be taken from the Research & Development Special Advisory Group budget for 2012-13 £220,000 was approved.


Nursing Research and Development Proposal

The Chief Nurse of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Ms Ruth Holt, and Ms Juliette Cosgrove Head of Nursing and Patient Experience, gave a presentation to the Board of Trustees at their meeting on the 25th January 2012 requesting financial support for a scholarship scheme in conjunction with the Leeds University entitled “Patient Safety and Experience”. This scheme was linked to the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust Research and Innovation strategy.

The cost to provide two Nursing & Midwifery Fellowships was supported by the Research & Development Special Advisory Group total funding requested and agreed from the Charitable Foundation of £257,000 was approved over five years.

It was agreed that a paper should be requested to clarify the scope of the project and quantify the benefits. Professor S Smye assured the Group that the scheme, if approved, would be motivated and driven through in accordance with the University’s reviewing controls.