We are delighted to announce that Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity has received a generous £1 million grant from The Big Heart Foundation

The Big Heart Foundation is a UAE-based global humanitarian organisation chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah Emirate, UAE. Working across most of the vital sectors, including healthcare, The Big Heart Foundation aims to achieve sustainable development goals through its humanitarian and development projects, which will help establish a Cardio-Oncology Centre of Excellence. The new Centre – the first of its kind in the UK – will be led by the internationally recognised specialist, Dr Alexander Lyon.

Commenting on this significant grant, Mariam Al Hammadi, General Director of The Big Heart Foundation said: “Through our commitment of £1 million (AED 4.65 million) towards the establishment of the Cardio-Oncology Centre of Excellence, we are furthering our efforts to improve healthcare outcomes for patients worldwide and support those in need. This life-changing initiative will not only enhance the quality of care for those battling both cancer and cardiac disease but also bolster clinical-academic development and healthcare advancements, ultimately benefiting patients in the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and beyond.

Our valued partnership with Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity on this groundbreaking project, the first of its kind in the UK, signifies a transformative step towards revolutionizing healthcare and setting new standards of excellence in patient care.

Dr Richard Grocott-Mason, Chief Executive of the Heart, Lung and Critical Care Clinical Group, which includes Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, said:

This very generous gift goes right to the core of what we do as world-leading specialists in heart care. Working with our key academic and industry partners, we will now be able to accelerate dramatically our work on this vital area of cardio-oncology and so also dramatically improve the conditions and outcomes of patients with both cardiac disease and cancer.

Cardio-oncology is an emerging area of research and clinical practice that improves the cardiovascular health of cancer patients. It is common for many cancer treatments to interfere with the cardiovascular system, causing further challenges for patients. Cardio-oncology involves detecting, treating and preventing cardiovascular toxicity and disease caused by these treatments, as well as enabling as many patients as possible to complete the most effective treatment for their cancer in a timely manner.

Based at Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, the grant will support, develop and implement specialist software and fund a team of staff to create a world class institute for the delivery of clinical and academic cardio-oncology. The ultimate ambition is to improve both cardiovascular and cancer outcomes in patients with both conditions.

The benefits of this project are threefold: advance patient experience, support clinical-academic development and healthcare advancements, and enable Royal Brompton Hospital to remain a pioneer of research and innovation. 

Plans for the centre include training and mentorship for doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals in the field of cardio-oncology; developing the UK’s first biobank specifically for cardio-oncology patients with storage of relevant electronic health care imaging and blood biomarker data; and establishing a global cardio-oncology network for a registry of patients, broadening research possibilities across the UK and internationally.

The Centre will also lead the development of an artificial intelligence algorithm that can be embedded into the hospital electronic health care records for the management of patients and the development of a clinical-academic research group for cardio-oncology to facilitate high quality research. All of which means the Centre will positively impact the scientific community and increase levels of excellence for patient care in the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and globally.

Commenting on the grant from The Big Heart Foundation Richard Bowyer, Chief Executive at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity, said:

We are delighted to be working with The Big Heart Foundation on creating a centre of excellence for cardio-oncology. As a charity we are committed to supporting our partner hospitals across key areas such as patient experience, research, and innovation. This partnership will enable Royal Brompton Hospital to remain recognised leaders in this fast-developing field.

The new Centre of Excellence director, Dr Alexander Lyon, said: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi for sharing our vision and inspiration behind this project. The Big Heart Foundation’s generous support will enable us to make significant advances in the growing medical field of cardio-oncology, both clinically, academically and improving education, all resulting in improved outcomes for patients worldwide.”

Keep an eye on our website and our social media feeds for further updates about this grant and the new Cardio-Oncology Centre of Excellence.