England football Manager Gareth Southgate, BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker and Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster have shown their support for Cure Leukaemia after the blood cancer charity announced its plans to expand its network of specialist research nurses across the UK.
They each recorded a video message of support which was shown to guests at the launch event for Cure Leukaemia’s plans at KPMG’s offices in Birmingham on Tuesday 11th June.
Thanks to the transformational UK Charities of the Year partnership with Deutsche Bank, blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia will begin funding specialist research nurses across the United Kingdom from January 2020.
Specialist research nurses will be funded for a minimum of 3 years in 12 Centres across the UK who will work with a Hub based in the Centre for Clinical Haematology, Birmingham to deliver the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) thereby allowing rapid assessment of new treatments for blood cancers.
Building on the successful track record of the TAP programme, previously solely funded by Bloodwise from 2011-2019, patients, from a catchment region of 20 million people, will have access to the wave of new drug and cellular therapies which promise to transform the outcomes for patients with blood cancer.
This vital investment has been made possible as a consequence of Cure Leukaemia’s two-year national partnership with Deutsche Bank which is predicted to raise £2.5 million to support the world class trials delivered by the TAP programme.
Blood cancer remains the third biggest cancer killer in the UK with approximately 38,000 people diagnosed and 14,000 losing their lives to the disease every year. The TAP will not only give blood cancer patients that have exhausted standard treatments for the disease hope through recruitment to pioneering new clinical trials, but also help continue global progress towards finding effective treatments for all forms of blood cancer.
Cure Leukaemia co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE, who made the announcement at the event hosted by Cure Leukaemia’s regional charity partner KPMG, said:
“We are incredibly grateful to Deutsche Bank for providing Cure Leukaemia with this opportunity to expand our impact into Centres across the UK. Since the TAP was first established in 2011, thanks to generous funding from Bloodwise, it has worked effectively within the established framework of NCRI haemato-oncology Clinical Study Groups and Working Parties funding 20 new trials which have together recruited more than 1100 patients. In the process, patients have accessed more than £250 million of new drugs they otherwise would not have had access to.
“Cure Leukaemia can now build on these solid foundations and continue the rapid assessment of the wave of pioneering new treatments to treat this dreadful disease that are not currently available to patients and save lives in the process.”
Professor Peter Hillmen, a consultant haematologist and Chair of the TAP steering committee said:
“This is a critically important piece of the jigsaw to enable us to do innovative trials in the UK and to move towards curing blood cancers.
I think that we are on the threshold of cure for many of our diseases and the quicker we get there the better for all patients suffering from blood cancers.”
The event at KPMG Birmingham, which was attended by leading business figures from the Midlands and London including Mayor for the West Midlands Andy Street CBE and Global Head of Brand Communications and CSR, Deutsche Bank, Lareena Hilton who urged business figures to invest in Cure Leukaemia’s vision for the future.
She said: “It is fantastic to see how Deutsche Bank’s UK employees have made a significant positive impact on Cure Leukaemia. The aim of our Charities of the Year programme is to help transform charitable organisations and this is clear evidence of the bank’s impact.
At the heart of this global progress are blood cancer patients who will benefit from accessing potentially life saving treatments and all our employees should be proud that their continued efforts are directly helping save lives.”
Professor Craddock also announced a new £1m appeal which would allow Cure Leukaemia to fund new, potentially practice changing clinical trials and clinical staff at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham. These new trials and roles would build on Cure Leukaemia’s track record of investment into capital and personnel allowing patients to connect with the wave new drug and transplant therapies which promise to eradicate blood cancer in the future.
Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin said: “this is a pivotal moment in Cure Leukaemia’s history. Through Deutsche Bank’s impact we are able to support the TAP for the next three years allowing patients to continue to benefit across the UK. We have a huge opportunity during that time to garner the support of the business community to invest in our vision to eradicate this disease.
“Our £1m Appeal is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in the Midlands to help facilitate pioneering, world first clinical trials which would be delivered and benefit patients in the Birmingham region. I look forward to discussions with the business community to find ways in which we can work together to make our vision a reality in the coming years.”
How funds raised for Cure Leukaemia help save lives