Bid to boost blood cancer survival

leukaemia New treatments are needed to improve survival

Related Stories

A network of clinical trial centres is launching in a bid to improve poor survival rates for patients with a variety of blood cancers.

Each year these cancers kill more than 12,000 people in the UK - a higher toll than from breast and prostate cancer.

Yet relatively little research is dedicated to these "rarer" cancers.

The charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research hopes to speed up the delivery of new drug treatments by linking together 13 UK research centres.

There are so many different blood cancers - the most common cause of cancer deaths in the under 35s - that it has often been seen as uneconomical to develop drugs for many types, says the charity.

Insufficient resources

And when new drugs are available, often clinical trials are not set up because of the difficulties of recruiting enough patients at a single hospital to make them workable.

Those that do get off the ground can take as long as 10 years to complete.

The charity's clinical trials adviser, Professor Charlie Craddock, of the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, said: "Every doctor will tell you that they are routinely turning down promising new drugs because they don't have the resources to conduct early stage clinical trials.

"We have a moral case for getting new drugs out there as soon as possible - if you have a relative with a blood cancer, you don't want life-saving treatment available in 10 years. You want it now."

The charity, with financial help from pharmaceutical companies and NHS hospitals, says the network will see trials completed within two years, bringing £50m of promising new drugs to patients.

Kate Law, director of clinical research at Cancer Research UK, welcomed the initiative, saying: "It is great news for patients with leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and we hope to see these trials making a real impact in the coming years."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories

RSS

Features

  • Witley Court in Worcestershire Abandoned mansions

    What happened to England's lost stately homes?


  • Tray of beer being carried10 Things

    Beer is less likely to slosh than coffee, and other nuggets


  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind


  • Woman readingWeekendish

    The best reads you need to catch up on


  • Salim Rashid SuriThe Singing Sailor

    The young Omani who became a pre-war fusion music hit


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.