Charity Funds Cancer Research Project

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A Clinical Fellow at RCHT is conducting his own research on cancer patients using a virtual reality headset. The project has been funded by the RCHT Charity through both ‘The Den @ RCHT’ initiative and the Cornwall Cancer Research Fund.

Image depicting a clinician conducting clinical research via a Virtual Reality (VR) headset

The Godrevy Project is a research project that aims to find out the effectiveness of using a virtual reality device for symptom control and wellbeing in oncology and palliative care patients. The study was designed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions which particularly affected these patients.

The study team is Dr Niall Moon (Clinical Fellow) Principal Investigator, Dr John McGrane (Consultant Clinical Oncologist) Chief Investigator and Jemima Henstridge-Blows (Clinical Fellow) Sub-Investigator. The team worked with a virtual reality technology company to develop the tablet-controlled headset to deliver distraction therapy to patients.

A range of local scenes have been filmed to allow patients to ‘escape’ the hospital environment where they often feel isolated and trapped. Patients wear a headset to view the 3D footage for a few minutes or longer if they wish. To date, 29 patients out of a target recruitment number of 60 have been recruited to the study. Most have reported a positive experience from using the headset.

Niall was initially awarded £10k after applying to ‘The Den @ RCHT’ for funding in 2020. The Den is an RCHT charity initiative similar to the BBC Dragon’s Den programme. Trust staff are invited to bid for charity funds. Niall began working on his project and found he needed additional monies for unforeseen costs such as extra batteries and music licenses. In late 2021, he decided to apply for a small top up to the Cancer Research Fund, run by the R&D department at RCHT, to cover these costs.

Niall said “The support of the hospital charity research funding has been invaluable to establishment and continuation of the project. As a junior researcher the ability to apply for additional funding for unexpected extras and publication costs has been very helpful. The support of the whole research department has been excellent both with funding applications and more generally with project management.” The RCHT Research Charity Funds are fundamental to supporting research needed to improve patient care and outcomes.

They are keen to invest in our Trust colleagues to assist them with developing their research ideas and delivering studies. Please contact for more information.

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