Jan 17, 2013

Saving Faces. Achievements and Plans

Happy New Year to all our supporters. To start off this new year, here is a brief report on what we have achieved so far, with your wonderful help and the exciting plans that we have for the future.

The Facial Surgery Research Foundation or Saving Faces for short was founded in 2000 by Professor Iain Hutchison to fund and lead research to improve the prevention and treatment of facial deformity, facial trauma and facial and mouth cancer. In the last twelve years FSRF has:

  • Run the world’s largest prevention studies discouraging smoking and binge drinking amongst school pupils.
  • Run a successful international study on the surgical management of early mouth cancer (3 previous attempts in Europe, South America and Asia had failed to study sufficient patients).
  • Conducted 2 National Surveys examining the causes and treatment of Facial Injury in 14,000 UK patients to find better ways of preventing and treating these injuries.
  • Funded laboratory research conducted by PhD students on the genetics of cancer and stem cell behaviour in cancer.
  • Funded Psychology PhD students to determine ways of improving the emotional and functional outcomes of trauma, deformity and cancer patients.
  • Built up a unique bank of tissue and blood collected from cancers linked to the patients’ treatment outcomes. Therefore we can study the tissue knowing whether the cancer is aggressive. This should enable researchers to find markers that will help doctors tailor treatment more accurately to each patient’s needs.
  • Set up a National patient telephone help line where patients who have had treatment (“Buddies”) talk new patients (who have contacted FSRF) through the whole treatment pathway to alleviate their fears.
  • Started courses for medical and dental students on how to do clinical research with patients.
  • Set up an electronic diagnostic service for general doctors and dentists so that cancer patients can be seen more rapidly by the best surgeon for the condition in their local area (SFDADS). A side benefit is that patients who do not have cancer can be reassured more rapidly that they don’t have a serious condition.
  • Set up a tissue engineering group with the intention of growing replacement bone from the patients own stem cells.


What Saving Faces is doing now:

In 2012 FSRF set up the World’s first National Facial and Oral Research Centre (NFORC). The Royal College of Surgeons of England has now designated NFORC as The UK’s Head and Neck Research Centre. The aim is that every patient attending a UK Oral, Maxillofacial (OMF), or Oculoplastic surgeon, or who has cosmetic surgery will have their treatment and its physical, functional and emotional outcome recorded. 1,000,000 UK patients every year will be entered in these studies on facial injury (400,000 patients annually), cancer (10,000 patients annually), deformity (20,000 patients annually), eye conditions (10,000 patients annually) and cosmetic (500,000 patients annually). Researchers around the world can study this data and, for the very first time, they will be able to determine which treatment protocol provides the best result for any disease or injury in the head and neck.


Surgery plays a pivotal role in the treatment of all cancers, facial injury and deformity. There are usually several different surgical treatments for any disease or injury. All of these are relatively successful but obviously not to the same extent. Worldwide nobody has successfully compared these treatments to determine which gives the best outcome in a particular situation. For example, one cancer treatment method may be 75% successful and the other 80% successful. That means that 5 more patients in every 100 will die of their cancer if they have the 75% treatment. The problem is no surgeon or researcher or Professor in the world can put their hand on their heart and say which treatment is best. Even the wealthiest person cannot guarantee getting the best treatment because nobody knows which this is. 

In its short life NFORC has generated intense excitement in the Head and Neck surgical community worldwide because research led and conducted on the data collected by NFORC from these 1,000,000 patients yearly will, for the very first time, solve the uncertainty felt by patients and surgeons alike over which treatment provides best results. NFORC will determine best treatment practice and the results of study on its data will apply to all patients worldwide. NFORC is the only organization able to do this in the world because of the partnerships it has set up with national and international surgical organizations and, as a result, American, Asian, Australasian and African surgeons now want to join NFORC.


All this costs money! This is how your amazing support can help.........

We will need guaranteed income of £ 12.5 million for NFORC’s first 5 years to augment FSRF savings and fund all NFORC staff and ensure accurate data collection.                                                   

We will need guaranteed income of £ 5 million for NFORC’s first 5 years to fund scientific analysis of this data.

These are essential figures for success: –


BUT: -

5 million patients will be studied over this period

SO RESEARCH COSTS EQUATE to £3.50 per patient

Also, ideally

 We need to appoint and fund 3 University Professors to lead and supervise international research into facial deformity, head and neck cancer and facial trauma prevention and treatment. Each Professor costs £ 5 million to guarantee post permanently

TOTAL: £ 15 million

Up to now Professor Iain Hutchison has been the unpaid Chief Executive of FSRF and Director of NFORC since their inception – effectively donating £600,000 over this period by waiving his salary. Iain Hutchison earned £1.2 million as an NHS surgeon over this 12 year period (£100.000 per annum) so effectively donated what would have been 1/3rd of his income. 


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Saving Faces

London, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Project Leader

Louise Lemoine

Liaison Officer
London, United Kingdom

Where is this project located?