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The Empower Project: evaluating a patient designed tool to reduce harm from cancer-associated thrombosis

I Grants Graphic

Professor Simon Noble, Cardiff University
Start date: 
April 2017
24 months
Funding amount: 


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the formation of blood clots in the vein usually the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT). This may break loose and travel to the lungs, forming a pulmonary embolism (PE). Symptoms include leg pain, swelling, breathlessness, chest pain and sometimes death. Up to 20% of cancer patients will be diagnosed with VTE, most frequently in those receiving chemotherapy. VTE remains the commonest cause of chemotherapy related death, second only to cancer progression.

Simon NobleThe consequences of cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT) are not limited to the physical: many patients report the experience of CAT to be more distressing than that of the cancer. In the Patient Experience of Living with Cancer Associated Thrombosis (PELICAN) study, patients reported they did not receive adequate information about the risks of CAT during chemotherapy or the warning signs, which should prompt medical attention. This leads to delayed diagnosis of CAT, greater clot burden, increased distress and more long-term complications.

In partnership with patient groups Thrombosis UK and Anticoagulation Europe, a patient information video “Cancer Chemo and Clots” was produced and launched on World Thrombosis Day. We have been invited to produce a bilingual version for launch in Wales this summer and we wish to investigate whether this patient developed intervention improves meaningful outcomes in the cancer population receiving chemotherapy. We shall adopt a mixed methods approach, which we have used in previous studies that have been funded by Tenovus Cancer Care.

This project builds on the work of Simon’s previous iGrant  which explored some of the barriers to referral to a specialised CAT service in South East Wales. You can read about this project here

Lead applicant:
Professor Simon Noble, Cardiff University

Annmarie Nelson, Eve Thorpe, John Bell, Emily Harrop