Our clinical trials test new drugs or combinations of drugs in people living with blood cancer. Trials are really important, because they’re the only way we can prove whether the new treatments developed through research will improve care for people with blood cancer.
A large part of our research investment is devoted to funding clinical trials, including trials funded through our dedicated Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) network.
What is the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP)?
Bloodwise launched TAP in 2011, to speed up blood cancer clinical trials. The quicker it can be established whether a new drug is safe, and if it is more effective than standard treatments, the quicker the best new treatments can be routinely made available on the NHS.
TAP is organised from a central hub at the University of Birmingham run by experts skilled at navigating the logistical and administrative steps needed to set up and conduct clinical trials within strict regulatory guidelines. The hub provides support for the efficient running of trials in hospitals reducing the time it takes to open clinical trials in locations around the country.
We currently have a network of 13 TAP centres where we support a research nurse, or other staff that help with clinical trials. Seven further locations are affiliated to TAP. These centres benefit from full access to the network, and can contribute to recruitment to individual TAP trials. Because of the geographical spread of our centres, people with blood cancer around the whole of the UK are able to join a TAP trial, speeding up recruitment.
Our current TAP portfolio
TAP provides support for early phase clinical trials. Phase I trials test the safety of new drugs or treatments and establish the appropriate dosage, and phase II trials confirm the optimum dosage of new drugs and identify any side effects. Both types of trial can also tell doctors whether there is evidence that a new treatment is working or not, but larger confirmatory studies are usually needed before a treatment can be approved for routine care. By investing in this early stage of the clinical trials process we are able to accelerate the testing of new treatments, either ruling out options that will not work, or moving promising approaches on quickly so that they can be tested in late phase trials that will confirm whether they should be used in routine care.
To date, we have run 19 trials through TAP that cover all types of blood cancer. In this section you can read more about each of the trials that we fund.