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Cash Boost for Cancer Research

Press release issued: 10 August 2001

£500,000 cash boost to Bristol cancer research

Blood cancer scientists in Bristol are in line for a £500,000 boost from the Leukaemia Research Fund (LRF). This investment reinforces the charity's presence in the city and underscores its commitment to finding better treatments for patients with leukaemia, lymphoma and the related diseases.

The LRF cash will back researchers at the University of Bristol and Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick Children in the following way:

A total of £400,000 to Professor Jill Hows and Dr Jeffrey Bidwell. Their research - much of which will be carried out in the new Paul O'Gorman Lifeline Centre at Southmead Hospital - will focus on bone marrow transplants from unrelated donors. In collaboration with leading scientists in the US, they will be looking to identify biochemical and genetic factors that could be used to predict how successful a bone marrow transplant is likely to be.

An award of £110,000 - the Jamie Gregory Clinical Training Fellowship - has been given to a research team at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Professor Anthony Oakhill and a team of experts will be focusing on minimum residual disease - the presence of low levels of leukaemia cells which survive chemotherapy and can cause the disease to re-appear months or even years later. They are particularly interested in how MRD can affect the outcome of bone marrow transplants in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Scientific Director of Leukaemia Research Fund, Dr David Grant, comments: "Statistics show that the number of leukaemia patients getting transplants from unrelated donors is steadily increasing. Despite improvements in BMT, far too many people still die either due to disease recurrence or due to transplant related complications such as graft failure, infection and graft versus host disease (GvHD)."

"Bristol is recognised as an international centre of excellence for bone marrow transplants and associated research. We are confident that these projects will increase the number of successful bone marrow transplants for leukaemia and lymphoma patients across the UK," Dr Grant adds

Leukaemia Research Fund is the only national UK charity devoted exclusively to improving treatments, finding cures and investigating the causes of leukaemia, lymphoma and related conditions in children and adults.

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Friday, 10-Aug-2001 09:33:34 BST

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