Blood cancer breakthrough

05 September 2016 - King’s reveals ground-breaking development in the treatment of blood cancer in new video

Prof Ghulam Mufti in the Blood Sciences Laboratory

King’s College Hospital has revealed that it is working on a new vaccine for acute myeloid leukaemia – the first of its kind in the world.

The development was announced in a new fundraising video produced by the Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA), which has been raising money for the Haematology Department at King’s since 1976.

The video aims to raise money to help create and run new laboratories at King’s, and purchase vital pieces of research equipment, which will advance the progress of the new vaccine and other pioneering treatments being developed at the hospital, which is a centre of excellence for blood disorders.

These advancements will build upon the research and treatments that have already been developed at King’s, which continue to benefit the patients who are treated for blood conditions at the hospital.

Patients, doctors and nursing staff were interviewed for the video, which provides an insight into the ground breaking work being carried out at King’s. It takes viewers behind the scenes, showing them wards and laboratories – places that the general public would not normally see. The video builds a picture of life at the hospital: the development of new treatments and day-to-day patient care.

Professor Ghulam Mufti, Head of the Haematology at King’s, said, “Every year, we diagnose and treat hundreds of people with a range of blood cancers and disorders. To give every patient the very best chance of recovery, we provide specialist treatments including chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and blood stem cell transplants. With the support of LIBRA, we continue to improve existing treatments and develop new ones. This is only possible through investment into research.

“The new vaccine we are working on for acute myeloid leukaemia, which is currently in development, is hugely exciting. It will be the first of its kind in the world, and a game-changer for patients with the condition. Although we are making fantastic progress, there is much more work yet to be done to help save the lives of patients with blood conditions. This is why fundraising is so vital.”

LIBRA, which raises money to help with the detection, treatment and cure of blood conditions, has raised over a million pounds since its inception. The LIBRA video is available at https://youtu.be/Io1hgHs99PA.

Andrew Lodge LIBRA Chairman commented, “We decided to produce the video as we wanted to show people what happens behind the scenes in the Haematology Department at King’s. Our supporters often ask how funds we raise are put to good use and we believe this is highlighted in the footage, thanks to the professors. Now people can see just how beneficial their support is when it comes to helping King’s battle blood cancers and blood disorders. We hope that people who watch our video will be inspired to support us in some way. Whether it’s helping to spread the word about us by sharing the video link, making a donation or taking part in a sponsored activity it will make a real difference.”

Trevor Jones from Woking in Surrey, a King’s patient, who features in the video commented, “It was a great experience to take part in the production. I was happy to share my story as I know there are many people who will watch it and relate to it in some way. Until I started having treatment at King’s for acute myeloid leukaemia, I wasn’t aware of the charity so hopefully this video will raise the profile of LIBRA as it is such a worthy cause. People need to understand that work is being done to save the lives of blood cancer patients – it provides hope.”


For further information please contact:
Karen Welsh
Acting Head of Communications
karen.welsh2@nhs.net
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 3850

Notes to editors

1. For further information on King’s:
email karen.welsh2@nhs.net or call 020 3299 3850.

For further information on LIBRA:
email info@libralionscharity.org or call 01428 656283.

2. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. The Trust is recognized internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma. On 1 October 2013, King’s took over the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. The new enlarged organisation has over 10,500 staff and provides over 1 million patient contacts a year. 9,000 babies are delivered by our hospitals each year, and over 750 patients come to our Emergency Departments every day. For more information, please visit the website. You can also support the work of King’s College Hospital at www.togetherwecan.org.uk

3. Facts and figures about blood cancer:

  • Every hour 3-4 people are diagnosed with a type of blood cancer
  • King’s College Hospital is a member of King’s Health Partners (KHP). The partners are King’s College London, King's College Hospital, Guy's and St Thomas', and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. KHP has the largest Departments of Haematological Medicine in the UK
  • KHP has some of the best transplant outcomes in the UK
  • KHP has the largest allogeneic stem cell transplant programme in the UK
  • KHP has research grants of £8m for haemato-oncology alone
  • KHP has the largest adult bone marrow transplant programme in the UK
  • KHP are the largest manufacturer of viral vectors in Europe, producing more gene therapy vectors than academic and industry combined. Viral vectors deliver drugs into a patient's cells to treat disease

4. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

King’s Health Partners is one of only six Department of Health-designated AHSCs in England and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our partnership brings together...

  • three of the UK’s leading NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • one of the top 30 universities in the world;
  • services provided over 225 locations, including seven hospitals and community and mental health centres;
  • 2.2 million patient contacts each year;
  • 31,000 staff;
  • 25,000 students;
  • a combined annual turnover of £2.8bn.

... to advance health and wellbeing by integrating world-class research, care and teaching.

5. At King’s College Hospital we fundraise for the best in treatment, research and health education, leading-edge equipment and improving well-being in our communities. By uniting doctors, nurses, researchers and academics with our supporters and volunteers we can provide the best patient care that goes above and beyond. Find out more and support us at togetherwecan.org.uk.