Henry Winter
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York blood cancer research project given £3million funding boost

Henry Winter
Posted by
02 Feb 2011

Scientists at the University of York have been awarded over £3 million to continue a groundbreaking research project which is helping cancer patients in Yorkshire and across the UK.

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is investing in further development of the ‘Yorkshire & Humberside Haematology Research Network’, which has already collected data from over 10,000 blood cancer patients in the Yorkshire area. The network works in partnership with 14 hospitals across Yorkshire and Humberside to gather information about each patient’s diagnosis, treatment course and outcome.

The team, led by Professor Eve Roman of the University’s Department of Health Sciences, now have some of the most detailed and accurate information in the world from patients with blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. The new five-year investment will help the scientists continue their analysis of this data, to provide new insights into what causes blood cancers, and which treatments are the most  effective.

Professor Roman said: “This project offers us a unique opportunity to guide treatment for patients and discover any genetic, environmental or lifestyle factors which may be contributing to these diseases. Studying blood cancer cells and DNA in patients is essential to moving treatment forward.”

Over 28,500 people are diagnosed with a blood cancer each year in the UK and together they are the fourth most common form of cancer in both men and women, but they represent a very diverse group of diseases. The University of York researchers are seeking to understand more about who develops these cancers, and why.

Dr David Grant, Scientific Director at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “The work of our team in York over recent years has been outstanding and we are confident that this new investment will lead to improved treatments for blood cancers, which can affect anyone of any age.”

The University of York was named as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in 2010, in recognition of its pioneering research into blood cancers.