Research into childhood leukaemia will benefit from a groundbreaking new national childhood leukaemia cell bank which has been established in Manchester.
A £490,502 investment by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research will allow the collection of detailed genetic samples of every child diagnosed with the blood cancer in the UK. The Childhood Leukaemia Cell Bank is the first centralised childhood leukaemia bank of its kind in the world.
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is the first charity to make use of the state of the art DNA and tissue storage facilities at the UK Biocentre in Manchester. The facility will coordinate the sampling, collection, processing and storage of tissue, cell and DNA samples taken from children diagnosed with leukaemia. Samples which have already been collected from children in previous clinical trials and stored in separate banks across the country will also be transferred to the new cell bank.
Dr David Grant, Scientific Director at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “This is the first time the UK will have a central resource that enables scientists to study the disease in all children with leukaemia. Cell banks are incredibly important and are vital to many research projects. The cell bank is paramount to improving our understanding of childhood leukaemia.”
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research have been investing in childhood leukaemia cell banking since 2003, as part of nationwide clinical trials for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Cell banks have already proved essential in 18 high profile research projects, which have used over 5,000 DNA and cell samples. The new centralised bank in Manchester is expected to collect over 2,000 new samples each year from children diagnosed with leukaemia.
Dr Tim Peakman, Executive Director at UK Biocentre, said: “This is a great partnership for UK Biocentre, working with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to provide an invaluable resource for scientists for years to come. This investment will contribute to the continued search for a cure for leukaemia.”