Our research achievements

Research and development

Below are some of our achievements.

Our teams work tirelessly to prevent, diagnose and treat conditions that occur in pregnancy including pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that can result in the death of the mother and the baby.

Our team have developed a fetal fibronectin blood test that can very accurately tell if a woman is experiencing pre-eclampsia.

This has been so successful that NICE have now recommended this as routine practice around the country. This allows doctors to accurately diagnose women with pre-eclampsia and deliver timely interventions.

We're at the forefront of cardiovascular care and research in the UK.

One of the areas of our work is looking at finding new diagnostics and treatments for congenital heart disease.

Our teams have a found a new way to more accurately diagnose congenital heart disease in utero. Babies could now be more accurately diagnosed with a common form of congenital heart disease before birth.

The research found that 3D fetal MRI could be much more accurate in predicting coarctation. Coarctation is where the main artery in the body (aorta) becomes severely narrowed in the first few days of life. This research could help with planning delivery of care in pregnancies where the baby may be affected by this condition.

Work by our teams has contributed to changes in infant feeding guidelines through the LEAP and LEAP-ON studies looking at prevention of peanut allergy in children.

It demonstrated that peanut allergy prevention achieved from early peanut consumption in at-risk infants remains after 1 year of not eating peanuts.

The EBSTEM clinical trial on recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) led to a change of clinical practice for children. Individuals with RDEB have an increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma, and their life expectancy is just 30. RDEB is considered one of the most severe forms of EB.

Our teams identified the potential clinical benefits of intravenous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) as a disease modifying intervention for children with RDEB.

Given there are currently no treatments available for RDEB, this trial identified potential clinical benefits of intravenous MSCs as an intervention for children and led to a change in NHS practice.

Innovative research from our teams found that immune-activating antibody and genetically modified cell therapies targeting the cancer antigen SLC3A2 can safely target tumours.

Immune therapies are now making an increasing impact on cancer treatment. In recent years, CAR T-cell therapy has primarily been used to treat blood cancers.

Our research indicates that similar cell therapies may be applicable to a wider range of cancers including;

  • breast
  • prostate
  • melanoma
  • bowel

Our teams led research that showed treating hospitalised COVID-19 patients with IL-6 blocking drugs that block the effects of an over reactive immune system reduces the risk of death.

The findings have prompted new World Health Organisation recommendations to use the treatment in patients with severe or critical COVID-19, along with corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Treating patients with IL-6 blockers saved 4 additional lives for every 100 hospitalised patients.

Clinical researchers at Guy's and St Thomas' proved a new COVID-19 test to be effective at identifying patients who might transmit the virus.

Our researchers were the first to evaluate the effectiveness of the first British tests to be validated in the laboratory by Public Health England, and produced by British-based SureScreen Diagnostics.

Research news

Research has the potential to change lives by improving the care and treatments that you receive when you are unwell. 

Research carried out by our teams at Guy’s and ST Thomas’ with the support of our patients and the public has led to many word –firsts. Our collaborations with partners locally, nationally and globally strengthen our work.

See our news section for stories on research successes and more.

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