Birmingham & Black Country

'More nurses' needed for leukaemia drug trials

Thousands of lives could be saved if leukaemia drugs developed and tested in the West Midlands were made available on the NHS, a leading doctor has said.

Prof Charlie Craddock, from Cure Leukaemia, said a shortage of research nurses prevented clinical trials ahead of the drugs potentially being made available on the NHS.

A nurse costs from £25,000 a year, and Cure Leukaemia and BBC WM are launching an appeal to raise money for them.

They hope to pay for 10 nurses.

Red Alert Appeal

The BBC WM 95.6 Red Alert Appeal for Cure Leukaemia hopes to raise enough money throughout the remainder of 2012 to be able to base the nurses at hospitals across the West Midlands.

The charity part-finances the Centre for Clinical Haematology at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, among other centres, to fund clinical trials.

Leukaemia is a blood cancer that affects white blood cells. There are approximately 7,000 adults in the West Midlands with the disease, the charity said.

Professor Craddock, who co-founded Cure Leukaemia and is a director of the centre, said: "Through the world class research that takes place at the centre, we have access to pioneering drugs and treatments that can help to save the lives of leukaemia patients.

"But without expert research nurses, we cannot run the clinical trials needed to get these treatments through to patients.

"We need these talented nurses to carefully monitor and care for patients - without them patients can't access these potentially life-saving drugs and needlessly die.

"Being chosen as BBC WM 95.6 charity partner is a momentous leap forward for Cure Leukaemia.

"We hope this campaign will bring in much-needed funds to help us continue our work - for us it is very simple, more money for more nurses means we can save more lives."

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