We greet the New Year with the sad news of the death of Gary Ablett, former Liverpool and Everton footballer who died of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma on New Year’s Day at the young age of 46.
The blood cancer lymphoma is the fifth most common form of cancer in the UK, and slightly more common in men.
As our Scientific Director, Dr David Grant, explained on BBC North West Tonight (14 minutes and 35 seconds in), some forms of lymphoma are still very aggressive and even the fittest of patients do not respond to the most intensive treatments, such as a stem cell transplant.
With that in mind we are very pleased to see Orin Cadogan-Lewis, who is co-founder of the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, recognised on the New Year’s Honours List. His partner Beverley De-Gale was also awarded an OBE in 2011 in recognition of her work to expand the number of people from ethnic minorities on the volunteer bone marrow donor register.
Also awarded an OBE in the New Year is Felicity Hilder, founder of Lymphoma Association and now a trustee of this important UK support organisation.
At Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, we invested £16 million in 2011 into vital new research projects to uncover new treatments and anticipate the fruition of these throughout 2012 with great excitement.
One of our most significant investments was the launch of our new Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP), back in May 2011, which aims to speed important new drugs and treatments from the laboratory into clinical trials to benefit blood cancer patients more quickly.
Three clinical trials will be recruiting blood cancer patients at all our TAP treatment centres around the UK during 2012.
We look forward to keeping you up to date with TAP’s progress.
Wishing all a happy and healthy New Year!
Tilly – Science Communications team