Chris B
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Blood cancer research leading the way in the fight against cancer

Chris B
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03 Feb 2012

On Saturday 4 February 2012 it is World Cancer Day which unites people around the globe in the fight against cancer. It’s a chance to highlight successes in medical research, as well as acknowledge that there is still much to do to improve treatment and diagnosis for all cancers.

In 1960 when Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research was founded blood cancer was a virtual death sentence. Now, just over 50 years later, the survival rates have drastically improved; most notably now more than 90 percent of children with the most common form of childhood leukaemia are cured. And treatment for patients with myeloma has been one of the fastest improving areas in cancer research in the last 10 years – amazing for a disease that was virtually untreatable only a few decades ago.

That said for some patients with blood cancer the chances of survival remain low. So there is still much work to be done.

However I am confident that these blood cancers can also be beaten. Not only is some of the best medical research being done on blood cancers, the network of experts that we have in this country, and the extent of collaborative research really is remarkable.

Our world-class research includes the whole spectrum of disciplines from basic laboratory research, which is vital for understanding how blood cancers develop, pioneering new treatments and improving diagnosis; translational research, which brings a detailed understanding of the diseases to develop and refine treatments and clinical trials, that test new treatments in patients and ultimately save more lives.

Last year we launched the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) in the UK, a unique network of 13 treatment centres which will speed delivery of new life-saving treatments. This will facilitate our leading researchers across the UK being able to work together to run more clinical trials for patients with blood cancers. And I am certain we can really push survival rates up for all the blood cancers in a relatively short period of time.

Professor Chris Bunce – Research Director, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research