Sheffield junior doctor wins international award for work on eye cancer

Dr Ella Kim from Sheffield
Dr Ella Kim from Sheffield

A junior doctor from Sheffield has been recognised on the global stage for her pioneering work treating eye caner.

A junior doctor from Sheffield has been recognised on the global stage for her pioneering work treating eye caner.

Dr Ella Kim, who works in the Sheffield Ocular Oncology Service at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, was awarded the Best Trainee Paper Award for her presentation at a conference in Sydney, Australia.

Dr Kim and the team have started treating patients awaiting surgery for fast growing eye tumours on the surface of the eye with an anti-tumour drug called Interferon, which is injected directly into the tumour at the first clinic visit.

The tumours are said to be 'difficult to manage' because they can 'grow rapidly' in the period of up to 31 days between the patient being listed for surgery and the surgery taking place.

The injections have 'shown promising results' with tumours found to have reduced in size and blood supply at the time of surgery, making it easier to operate and improving the prognosis, according to the Sheffield team.

The ocular oncology team, Back left to right: Stephen Connell, Ian Rennie, Paul Rundle, Sachin Salvi, Hardeep Mudhar
 
Front left to right: Lesley Hinchliffe, Ella Kim, Michelle Evans, Katharine Sears, Tracey Farniss

The ocular oncology team, Back left to right: Stephen Connell, Ian Rennie, Paul Rundle, Sachin Salvi, Hardeep Mudhar Front left to right: Lesley Hinchliffe, Ella Kim, Michelle Evans, Katharine Sears, Tracey Farniss

Speaking after her award win, Dr Kim said: “I was delighted to receive this award – it was an honour to present work from the world-renowned SOOS service and I would like to thank the whole team for their support.

“This has inspired and motivated me to continue further research into eye cancers.”

Mr Paul Rundle, the Clinical Lead for ocular oncology, said that the service had experienced a 47 per cent increase in referrals during the last seven years, and that the new treatment would help it to continue hitting national cancer targets.

He said: “It will also help us to reduce patient anxiety as treatment is commenced soon after the diagnosis is made.

“It is heartening to know that our work in Sheffield is appreciated in the wider international forum. We are a great team and should be proud of our work.”

The Sheffied service is one of three specialist National Eye Cancer Centres in England, where patients with eye tumours are referred to from across the UK and abroad.