Hywel Dda UHB awarded £200,000 by Moondance Cancer Initiative

The Moondance Cancer Initiative has awarded just over £400,000 to seven innovative projects across north and west Wales to improve cancer services.

Teams in Hywel Dda University Health Board were awarded over £200,000 for an array of ground-breaking projects – spanning from the trialling of a new lung cancer diagnosis pathway that patients can access directly to take pressure off GP surgeries to the trialling of a 3D imaging app. The remaining £200,000 was awarded to projects within Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.

TriTech Institute were awarded part of the funding to develop an artificial intelligence tool which has the potential to radically reduce misdiagnosis of prostate cancers.

Prof Chris Hopkins said, “In 2020, prostate cancer (PCa) diagnoses in the UK overtook breast cancer for the first time. PCa is the second biggest cause of death in men globally, affecting 1-in-8 men, rising to 1-in-4 in some ethnic groups. Highly variable diagnostic accuracy from MRI scans means that a vast number of patients undergo unnecessary but painful, intrusive and often life-changing biopsies. The artificial intelligence platform we are developing is a diagnostic aid for PCa that promptly highlights the existence of tumours on MRI scans. The tool can enable radiologists to make more informed decisions faster. This potentially reduces misdiagnosis, and therefore unnecessary treatment costs and complications, whilst creating better patient outcomes.”

The Moondance Cancer Initiative Innovation Time Awards were created in Summer 2021 to encourage and support staff across Welsh health and care services to adopt practical and clinical innovations to improve cancer outcomes with immediate impact – whether in cancer services, diagnostics, treatments, enabling technologies or workforce on the ground. This is especially important as the NHS aims to recover from the impact of public health measures taken during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

All projects are expected to start within 3 months and have a real practical impact for patients in 2022.

Megan Mathias, CEO of Moondance Cancer Initiative, made the announcement last week: “We received some exciting, high-quality applications and we’re delighted to be able to commit over £400,000 in funding to support seven innovative ideas to improve cancer services in 2022.

“Our hope is that these innovations prove better for patients, and more effective and efficient too – enabling Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda University Health Boards to adopt them into core services in 2023.

“Huge congratulations to the winners. Of course, the hard work starts now, and we look forward to staying in touch with them all over the coming year.”

Commenting on the award, Phil Kloer, Medical Director for Hywel Dda University Health Board said:

“We’re thrilled to have partnered with Moondance Cancer Initiative on these Awards. We’re confident these projects will help us to make a real difference to cancer patients across west and north Wales.”

You can find out more here.