Members of the public invited to see state-of-the-art medical research machine

NNUH Ophthalmology Research Team. Photo: NNUH

NNUH Ophthalmology Research Team. Photo: NNUH - Credit: NNUH

The ophthalmology research unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is marking International Clinical Trials Day this year by inviting members of the public and colleagues to see the newly-installed IRay machine – one of only five of its kind in the country.

People are invited to visit the NNUH eye department on Monday, May 21 2018 between 10am and 3.30pm, where the IRay machine visits will be taking place.

The recent arrival of the IRay machine, which is a non-invasive robotic radiotherapy device, makes it easier for participants to take part in the ground-breaking nationwide research study, STAR, which aims to reduce or remove the need for ongoing eye injections for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a leading cause for blindness in the UK. Research participants are now able to receive treatment as part of the study on the main hospital site, whereas originally participants were required to travel to London.

Volunteers who have already taken part in the study and received the treatment will be on hand to share their experience and answer any questions.

Patient research ambassadors (PRAs) who provide an important link between patients and those providing research opportunities at NNUH will also be there on the day to speak about their role and how people can get involved.

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Heidi Cate, ophthalmology research unit manager, said: 'Securing the use of the IRay machine in Norwich is another big step forward for us and will enable so many more people to become involved in our exciting research projects.

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'Research provides so many opportunities to participants who can benefit from new treatment or devices, and can help future generations – allowing clinicians to learn more about certain diseases. We're delighted to be highlighting International Clinical Trials Day this year by sharing more information about what we do here at NNUH and how members of the public can get involved in the STAR study.

'We have a fantastic specialist research team in the ophthalmology department at NNUH who love engaging with people through research.'

Peter Chapman, medical director, added: 'The arrival of the IRay machine is a massive step forward in terms of allowing us to continue the great work of the STAR study. Wet AMD affects patients over 50 years old, and as Norfolk has a significantly older population, it's very important we are involved in this research.

'The day will be a great chance for both members of the public and NNUH colleagues to see the fantastic IRay machine, and find out how taking part in the STAR study can help support local patients.'

NNUH is recruiting participants with wet AMD. If you or someone you know suffers with the condition and might be interested in taking part in the study or would like more information, contact NNUH ophthalmology research team on 01603 288870.

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