Cure Leukaemia has announced the 12 centres across the UK that will receive funding from the charity for a three-year period from January 2020 to form the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) Network.
One of the chosen centres is the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. The hospital has received TAP funding since 2011, when the programme was first established. This is the only Welsh centre within that network and will continue to work closely with colleagues at other centres throughout the UK.
The successful centres were selected from 21 applications by an International Peer Review Panel, chaired by Professor Alessandro Rambaldi from the University of Milan, to receive dedicated specialist research nurse funding for the three-year period from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2022. Grants of £50,000 per year will be paid to each centre by Cure Leukaemia to support the employment of a research nurse who will work closely with the TAP Hub at the University of Birmingham to deliver practice informing trials in blood cancer.
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.
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 funding will not only give blood cancer patients who 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.
Dr Steve Knapper is a co-lead for our early phase trials research and the lead applicant for this funding. He said, “These funds from Cure Leukaemia will allow us to employ a dedicated trials nurse to work in early phase trials for patients in Wales with blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. These patients will often have exhausted conventional treatment options and participation in these trials will allow them access to promising new treatments.”
The formation of the TAP network has been largely thanks to the transformational UK Charities of the Year partnership with Deutsche Bank, which is predicted to be worth in excess of £2.5m when it comes to an end on December 31st.