The Oglesby Charitable Trust has supported Blood Cancer UK (formerly Bloodwise) through two Trials Acceleration Programmes (TAP) programmes since 2012 and the commitment is currently in its third phase (2019 – 2022). The aim of the programme is to deliver novel blood cancer treatments to the NHS faster, and to provide patients on the trials with access to new treatments that they would not otherwise receive.
The programme to date has enabled clinical trials to be set up at an average speed of 2.5 times the national average, moving new treatments further along the pathway towards adoption by the NHS. Over 1,000 people have directly benefitted from participating in the trials and in many cases, their treatment – for conditions such as Essential Thrombocythaemia (ET) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) – has been uniquely life-changing. One of the trials has run the largest randomised trial of epigenetic therapies in leukaemia, which offered older patients the chance to receive a drug that had not previously been available in the UK and that consequently had a major impact on patient outcomes. Several of the TAP trials have published their results in journals including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Blood, the highest-ranking blood cancer research journal.
In this third phase, launched Autumn 2019, Blood Cancer UK is focusing on individual trials. The overarching aims are: 1) to provide patients who have exhausted all existing treatment options with access to new treatments, and 2) to accelerate adoption of these treatments by the NHS. This next phase is expected to conclude with the completion of the final trial(s) in Spring/Summer 2027.
Dr Christopher Fox, of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Chief Investigator for the TIER trial has said:
“TAP has provided a unique and demonstrably effective structure for the rapid design, set-up and delivery of early phase clinical trials for patients with blood cancer. The core TAP funding for the trials team in Birmingham has provided the structure and expertise to support investigators leading high quality clinical studies, whilst the dedicated funding at TAP sites for research personnel has enabled Haemato-Oncology units around the country to more quickly and reliably set-up and open studies. This has been particularly impactful for patients with rare diseases and for those who have failed conventional treatments. There is no doubt that large numbers of patients have experienced meaningful and sometimes life-changing benefit from treatment with novel therapies through participation in TAP trials.”
See Blood Cancer UK for more.