The GTD Ball in support of Jean's Trust 

The team behind the GTD ballThe Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD) team at Weston Park Hospital hosted their second GTD Ball on 14 October to raise funds for their research project, Jean’s Research Trust, at the University of Sheffield. A total of over £9,000 was raised through ticket sales, a raffle, auction, sales of cupcakes, and donations.

Jean's Research Trust aims to make a contribution to current and future research, by supporting the excellent work of Weston Park Hospital and raising awareness of trophoblastic disease. They are currently involved in many research projects to improve the care and treatments given to patients.

The funds raised by the Ball will help to ensure they provide the best possible care for their patients which is evidence based. They are currently involved in maintaining an international database which collects information about patients with rare trophoblastic tumours. The information gathered may help doctors treat patients in the future as well as help patients by informing them of treatment practices around the world.

What is Gestational Trophoblastic Disease?

Gestational Trophoblastic Disease is a rare condition that can develop during pregnancy. The placenta is the organ that is normally formed as part of a healthy pregnancy and it produces hormones that help the baby grow and develop. It is made up of millions of cells called trophoblasts. In trophoblastic disease there is an abnormal overgrowth of all or part of the placenta. The trophoblastic cells do not grow as they should, and form a mass of abnormal cells in the uterus. The growth can be either benign or malignant. A malignant GTD is commonly called gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN).

Following diagnosis, patients in the UK are registered with and followed up by one of three specialist centres, one of which is located at Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield. The Northern GTD centre at Weston Park Hospital registers approximately 600 new women annually. In most cases GTD is removed surgically and women are monitored with 2-weekly urine tests to ensure the disease is resolving spontaneously. However around 5-6 % of women diagnosed with GTD will develop persistent disease (GTN), and therefore will require chemotherapy. There are only two treatment centres in the UK, women from the North of England and Wales will travel to Sheffield for their treatment. The disease is chemotherapy sensitive and 98% curative.

Little is known about this rare disease and often many women and their families will not have heard of the disease. Women receiving treatment for GTN face a unique set of challenges associated with the loss of a pregnancy and a cancer diagnosis. It can be a very difficult and challenging time, and having a specialised centre for GTD plays a fundamental role in ensuring these patients are well supported throughout their journey. The specialist centre is very passionate about the work they do and research plays a fundamental part of the service. Internationally the UK is leading on GTD research and is currently involved in many research projects to improve the care and treatments given to patients. The aim of the GTD team’s work is to ensure they provide the best possible evidence based care for these patients.

The Sheffield Centre is led by gynaecologist Professor John Tidy as the Director, with Medical Oncologist Matt Winter as the deputy Director. Lead clinical nurse specialist Kam Singh is responsible for the day to day management of the service, with her team of clinical nurse specialists – Annie Hills, Sarah Gillett and Jane Ireson. Julie Ford and Tracey Byne provide the team’s admin support. The team also works very closely with other specialities including clinical chemistry, radiology and histopathology.

For further information about GTD, please visit the GTD Team website 

To make a donation, please visit our Online Donation web page where you should choose 'Other' as the Fund Name and 'Jean’s Trust' in the 'Other' details box.

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