NORTHERN Ireland’s only charity dedicated to blood cancer research has awarded £500,000 to Queen’s University Belfast to help in the fight against the condition.
Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI hope the grant will “positively impact patient care, both locally and globally by discovering new and better ways of diagnosing and treating blood cancer”.
The announcement of the funding coincides with Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
Every month, around 100 people are diagnosed with blood cancer in the north. One in every four people diagnosed will not survive.
The charity has invested more than £13 million to this life-saving research since it was established in 1964.
The latest funding award for QUB will ensure the recruitment of a research fellow and a supporting technician, who will be based in the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research (PGJCCR) in Belfast.
Richard Buchanan, chairman of Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI, said they are “delighted to be able to make this further commitment to blood cancer research…particularly during these extremely challenging times for cancer research”.
“This demonstrates our ongoing commitment to funding the science to beat blood cancer, as well as our support for continuing to attract world class scientists to the blood cancer team at the PGJCCR here in Belfast,” he said.
“We are dedicated to investing in local research and this investment further bridges the link between bench and bedside, as our research group is in a unique position.
“Their proximity and relationship with the team in Belfast City Hospital and the Northern Ireland biobank brings the patient closer to the research.
“The use of samples and trial data is vital in making our research more robust whilst keeping the patient at the heart of the work we do.”
Leading the research team, Professor Ken Mills, chair of experimental haematology at QUB, said the “long-standing relationship” with the charity has had a “hugely beneficial impact on those living with blood cancer here in Northern Ireland and elsewhere”.
“This latest funding will provide additional support for the important work of my research group – which has grown considerably thanks to previous investment by the charity – and will, I have no doubt, deliver much improved outcomes for patients,” he said.
Ken Reid, patron of the charity, said: “Receiving a blood cancer diagnosis is a frightening event that changes your life and that of your family forever.
“This significant gift from our charity to Queen’s University is an investment in hope for the future for all patients like me who are suffering from Leukaemia and other blood cancers.”
— to www.irishnews.com