Leuka puts £1 million into clinical trials programme to give new hope to thousands of blood cancer patients

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01th November 2017

Leuka is proud to be partnering with leading UK charities and organisations to fund IMPACT – the UK’s first large-scale clinical trials programme.

We’re putting in £1million, alongside Anthony Nolan, NHS Blood and Transplant, and the University of Birmingham, to fund this £4 million programme, designed to improve the lives of the 4,400 children and adults who receive stem cell transplants for blood cancers and disorders in the UK each year.

This ambitious four-year pilot aims to reduce the time it takes to deliver a clinical trial in stem cell transplantation by a third. 

IMPACT Medical Director, Professor David Marks, believes the programme will benefit each of the 4,400 people a year who receive stem cell transplants in the UK.

He says: “New, and improved, treatments for stem cell transplant patients can only become possible if they are evaluated and approved as part of a clinical trial. We have been unable to advance treatments at the same rate of other developed countries but, by making it easier to set up trials and recruit participants, IMPACT will ensure that medical advances reach patients more quickly and help fill the gaps in our current understanding.”

IMPACT will establish up to 12 clinical trials involving approximately 1,500 patients – a marked increase on current numbers. In 2014 just one in 20 transplant patients were involved in a trial, compared to one in five cancer patients overall. This was due to relatively small patient numbers, lack of infrastructure and a complex regulatory environment. 

While finding donors is much easier, thanks to improvements in treatment from researchers like Leuka’s founder, the late Professor John Goldman, who pioneered the use of non-related bone marrow donors, more than half of adult transplant patients still die within five years of their transplant. There is an urgent need to improve this outcome for leukaemia and blood cancer patients – and the way to do this is through cutting-edge research.

Learn more about IMPACT, the centres involved, and read the full release at: www.impactpartnership.org.uk.