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Our impact

We started with a girl named Susan, who died from leukaemia. In her memory, the Eastwood’s started sewing pocket squares to raise funds for research into this disease. This is where Blood Cancer UK was born.

Since then we’ve invested over £500million into research. In 1960 the survival rate for childhood leukaemia was just 10%, now that figure is 80% and rising. For people with all types of blood cancer, 60% now survive over 10 years

More people are surviving, we’re getting better at diagnosing blood cancer and people are receiving kinder treatments with fewer side effects but there’s still more to be done.

Because we’re determined to beat blood cancer within a generation.


We begin to fund research in childhood leukaemia

The Eastwood family opened the first childhood leukaemia research unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

David Eastwood, co-founder of Blood Cancer UK, holding daughter Susan who was living with leukaemia before later passing away.


We funded the first professorship in leukaemia research in Britain, powering forward key research

This cemented the importance of leukaemia research as an academic discipline in its own right.

Frank Hayhoe, foundation fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge and its first vice-master sitting in black and white formal photo.


Scientists in Southampton developed an antibody that can stick to cancerous cells

This discovery laid the foundations for many treatments commonly used today.

Black and white image of Freda and George Stevenson, scientists in a laboratory in Southampton who developed an antibody that can stick to cancerous cells.


We developed a Minimal Residual Disease test for children to detect cancer cells left behind after initial treatment

This huge breakthrough transformed treatment outcomes for multiple blood cancers and is now used worldwide.

A researcher puts test tubes containing blood into a rack


We discovered a genetic change that happens in the womb which can cause childhood ALL

This discovery could be a ‘bullseye’ target for future treatments.

A researcher stands in a laboratory at a work bench surrounded by sample jars


We found the ‘Achilles heel’ of CML – a cancer stem cell which creates a stream of cancerous cells

Now, we want to create treatments that target this cell and destroy cancer at its root.

Dozens of circular, pink CLL cells under a microscope.


We set up the national childhood leukaemia CellBank

This gave researchers access to clinical samples from children with leukaemia which has made it much easier for many researchers to carry out their work.

A close up of a multi-well plate being used in a blood cancer laboratory, by a researcher with bright green gloves.


We discovered a common mutation in a gene called JAK2 in people with myeloproliferative neoplasms

This changed the game for diagnosing and developing treatments for these diseases.

A digital illustration of a blue DNA helix.


We set up the Trials Acceleration Programme to ensure we deliver better treatments for blood cancer, faster

Over 1000 people have benefited from 20 trials which help change clinical practice and advance treatment.

Researcher Professor Peter Hillmen who is funded by Blood Cancer UK talking with a colleague over a booklet of notes.


We developed a test for people with myeloma which helps doctors understand how their disease might develop

These are now used across Europe.

Close-up of a researcher looking through the lens of a microscope in a lab.


Our clinical trial called RAPID showed the benefits of giving people with Hodgkin lymphoma body scans before and after treatment

This trial changed clinical practice worldwide and means fewer people now need radiotherapy.

A person lies on a hospital bed in front of a radiotherapy machine with. A clinician stands next to the bed adjusting the person's mesh mask.


The DESTINY trial showed that it may be possible to pause treatment for some people with CML

This could give them a break from the side effects.

A nurse and a blood cancer patient sit together in a treatment room in a hospital.


The CLARITY trial showed that ibrutinib and venetoclax were a highly effective treatment combination for people with CLL

The combination of drugs was able to destroy cancer cells with fewer side effects that traditional treatment.

A close up two people's hands, one holding an open pill bottle the other holding orange pills in their right hand.

Our research impact spanning 60 years