Basic Science Research
Basic science research is essential for understanding the cause and the behaviour of cancers of the eye.
Many of the research studies that we conduct depend on the availability of high quality biological samples from patients with eye cancer. Donation of tissue and blood to the Ocular Oncology Biobank (OOB) is a gift and we are very grateful to all patients who consent to donate. Consenting to donate, or refusing to donate, samples to the OOB will not affect routine care in any way and all tissue samples are collected from material that is left over following diagnostic procedures. The OOB abides by the Data Protection Act 1998, the Health and Social Care Act 2003 and all policies and procedures laid down by the Human Tissue Authority.
When researchers wish to conduct a study using human biosamples from the OOB they are required to obtain approval for this from the National Research Ethics Service. Only once this external approval has been obtained are the researchers provided with samples for their projects. All samples are only identified by a number and so all patient information remains confidential.
This is a collaborative effort between surgeons, theatre staff, nurses, pathologists and researchers at a number of local hospitals; Royal Liverpool University Hospital NHS trust (RLUHT), Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust (CCO), Aintree University Hospital NHS Trust (AUHT).
Our clinical research has tended to report the results of treatments. Outcomes such as survival, conservation of the eye, preservation of vision, tumour control and quality of life are correlated with pre-treatment characteristics (i.e., "variables‟) such as patient age, pre-treatment vision, tumour dimensions and so on. These studies have enabled us to inform other specialists about what can be achieved when a patient presents with a particular problem. It has also made it possible for us to advise patients on their own prospects for success after a particular treatment, so that they have been able to select the best treatment for their own particular condition. Importantly, this research has demonstrated to us the circumstances likely to give rise to various complications so that we have been able to develop ways of avoiding problems.