Serena S
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Cardiff University unveiled as centre of excellence in blood cancer research

Serena S
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21 Jun 2010

Cardiff University was today (Tuesday 18 May) named as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s first Centre of Excellence.

This year alone, the national blood cancer charity has invested over £1 million in new projects at the Centre. It has been recognised for its world-class research into the two most common forms of adult leukaemia - acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

The unveiling of the Centre of Excellence, which is based at the Cardiff University School of Medicine, is part of the charity’s plans to focus investment in leading research institutions across the UK.  
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research plans to unveil up to 10 Centres of Excellence, but Cardiff University is the first to be named. Over recent years it has emerged as a key player in driving the charity’s research into better treatments and cures for leukaemia patients.

Over 2,000 adults are diagnosed with AML every year and 3,000 adults with CLL. CLL can be controlled by drugs, but remains incurable and less than 50% of AML patients currently survive for more than five years.

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research currently has six research projects running in Cardiff dedicated to improving diagnosis and treatment for these two types of blood cancer.

Researchers work closely with doctors at the University of Wales Hospital to ensure any breakthroughs in research benefits local leukaemia patients as soon as possible.

A new drug for leukaemia, called LC-1 was recently developed by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research scientists in their Cardiff laboratories and a clinical trial using the drug will be available soon to patients at the University Hospital of Wales.

Cathy Gilman, Chief Executive of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, who attended the unveiling of the Cardiff Centre of Excellence, said: "Cardiff University truly is a Centre of Excellence in research into adult leukaemia. Our scientists here are consistently helping to improve treatment and diagnosis for patients in Cardiff and across the UK."

Professor Alan Burnett, Head of the Department of Haematology at Cardiff University School of Medicine, said: "The concentration of so much expertise and resources here at Cardiff University not only enables collaboration and increases the pace of progress but it also offers a fantastic environment to train up promising young scientists for the future.

"This is essential for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research’s long-term goal of achieving a cure for blood cancers."

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research has invested over £6.5 million in research into blood cancers in Cardiff over the past 10 years.