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Charity to drive £3m national blood cancer trials

12 June 2019

Cure Leukaemia have launched a drive to “put themselves out of business” – with the charity set to begin funding specialist research nurses across the UK.

In a campaign dubbed ‘Mission Possible’, the blood cancer charity are set to begin funding specialist research nurses across the United Kingdom from January 2020.

Specialist research nurses will be funded for a minimum of three years in 12 centres across the UK.

These centres will work with a hub based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham to deliver the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) thereby allowing rapid assessment of new treatments for blood cancers.

Building on the successful track record of the TAP programme, previously funded by Bloodwise, patients, from a catchment region of 20 million people will have access to the wave of new drug and cellular therapies which promise to transform the outcomes for patients with blood cancer.

This vital investment has been made possible as a result of Cure Leukaemia’s two-year national Charity of the Year partnership with Deutsche Bank which is predicted to raise £2.5 million.

Blood cancer remains the third biggest cancer killer in the UK with approximately 38,000 people diagnosed and 14,000 losing their lives to the disease every year.

The TAP will not only give blood cancer patients that have exhausted standard treatments for the disease hope through recruitment to pioneering new clinical trials, but also help continue global progress towards finding effective treatments for all forms of blood cancer.

Cure Leukaemia co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE, who made the announcement at a launch event hosted by Cure Leukaemia’s regional charity partner KPMG, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Deutsche Bank for providing Cure Leukaemia with this opportunity to expand our impact into centres across the UK.

“Since the TAP was first established in 2011, thanks to generous funding from Bloodwise, it has worked effectively within the established framework of NCRI haemato-oncology Clinical Study Groups and Working Parties funding 20 new trials which have together recruited more than 1100 patients.

“In the process, patients have accessed more than £250 million of new drugs they otherwise would not have had access to.

“Cure Leukaemia can now build on these solid foundations and continue the rapid assessment of the wave of pioneering new treatments to treat this dreadful disease that are not currently available to patients and save lives in the process.”

The event at KPMG Birmingham, which was attended by leading business figures from the Midlands and London.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner, who is a trustee of the charity, said: “It was an inspiring and emotional night as the Cure Leukaemia family gathered to hear about ‘Mission Possible’ and how this amazing charity can find a cure for blood cancer in the next 15 years.

“The charity is expanding onto a national footprint, but it now requires more support than ever to achieve its mission.”

Professor Craddock (pictured) also announced a new £1m appeal which will allow Cure Leukaemia to fund new, practice-changing clinical trials and clinical staff at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham.

These new trials and roles would build on Cure Leukaemia’s track record of investment into capital and personnel allowing patients to connect with the wave new drug and transplant therapies which promise to eradicate blood cancer in the future.

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