Rachael Davies
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Research in Wales

Rachael Davies
Posted by
19 Nov 2014

At Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research we are dedicated to improving the lives of patients with all types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Through researching the cause of blood cancer, we are hoping to one day stop the development of it all together. As an experienced blood cancer research charity, we only invest in the best research that brings the most benefit to patients. Using our research centres we hope to improve patient diagnosis, develop new treatments and personalise treatments for all blood cancer patients. By doing this we hope to find a way to beat blood cancer altogether as quickly and effectively as possible.

Cardiff University is the home to one of our research centres – a world class research institution. Here are just a couple of examples on the work going on in Cardiff.

Acute myeloid leukaemia
Dr Richard Darley and Dr Alex Tonks at Cardiff University are studying the genetic abnormalities that can impair the normal development of white blood cells. These genetic faults can cause immature blood cells to grow out of control, leading to acute myeloid leukaemia. By homing in on the precise faults in the cell’s machinery, they are seeking to improve acute myeloid leukaemia therapy by designing a suite of drugs to hit the disease’s “Achilles’ heel”.

A major clinical trial being run by Cardiff University is testing new drugs for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia in elderly patients. The majority of acute myeloid leukaemia patients are diagnosed when they are over 60, but many are too frail or have other health problems that mean they cannot withstand the current harsh chemotherapy. This trial is looking at how new drugs can be safely combined with existing drugs to improve the survival chances for these patients.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
At Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, we’re funding research that is crucial to improving patients’ chances of survival and quality of life. Our researchers at Cardiff University are developing a quick and cheap genetic test to predict how aggressive a person’s chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is likely to be. The test being developed is the most reliable to date and may one day soon help doctors decide whether a patient needs treatment straight away or whether treatment can be put on hold. It means that the type and timing of treatment can be personalised, and patients won’t have to endure harsh treatments unnecessarily.

It could also have an important psychological benefit for patients who have just been told they have cancer, especially those who don’t need immediate treatment, and allow them to more confidently plan their lives and immediate futures.

Everyone will be able to live life to the fullest.

And the good news is that if patients do need treatment one day, the outlook for many patients is improving thanks to research we’ve been doing into new, innovative therapies. Our researchers are now starting to say the words we’ve all been wanting to hear – that chronic lymphocytic leukaemia  will soon become curable for many. We won’t stop until we can say this for all patients with all types of blood cancer.

It's thanks to people like you that we can fund this groundbreaking research through our grants programme, which will help us continue our life-saving and ground-breaking work.



Great blog Rachael!

Always good to hear what the research teams are up to across the UK. The work that Dr Chris Pepper and the guys are doing in Cardiff around CLL is so exciting and I'm extremely proud to be part of the charity at a time when we could be on the brink of another major breakthrough in treatment.

We're less successful with AML than we are with other types of blood cancers and I've got everything crossed that Dr Richard Darley and Dr Alex Tonks and their team are able to find out more with the trial as improvements in treatment and understanding cannot come quick enough.