Queen’s researchers and practitioners striving to improve the treatment of blood cancers have been able to put their case to Mr Jim Shannon, MP for Strangford, who visited the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) on 11 April.
The term 'blood cancer' covers a number of cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system, including lymphoma (Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin), leukaemia and myeloma.
Mr Shannon (pictured, centre) heard from Dr Lisa Crawford and Professor Ken Mills (pictured, left and second left), Professor Mary Francis McMullin, and Richard Buchanan, Chair of Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI (pictured, right) about the way in which better identification of the molecular processes in cell mutations is leading to better-targeted medicines.
Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI, a charity that has invested over £12.5m into blood cancer research, has close links with the team at CCRCB.
The team highlighted the excellent research coming from Northern Ireland, but also pointed out inequalities in treatment and funding across the UK. Mr Shannon, who is an officer of the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer, undertook to raise these issues with the Health Minister.
Blood cancer affects more than just the researchers at Queen’s.
Alex McBride was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma two years ago, while studying in Glasgow. As a result of her treatment, she decided to study Nursing, and enrolled at Queen’s in 2017. Alex features in Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI’s current information campaign ‘My Lasting Impression’, which features specially commissioned portraits of those with blood cancers.
‘Research with Impact’ is a theme of Queen’s Social Charter.