The Lymphoma Research Trust strives to improve the life expectancy and quality of life of patients with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
The Lymphoma Research Trust was originally set up in 1973 to support the activities of the British National Lymphoma Investigation (BNLI), particularly the BNLI central office responsible for managing studies and developing some of the first electronic databases to be used in clinical trials. The BNLI comprised of a group of haematalogists, oncologists and pathologists who had come together to conduct clinical trials to determine the optimal way to treat patients with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the different types of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas. Many of these trials have impacted on the way in which lymphomas are currently treated. From its inception, this organisation had a strong focus on improving and standardising histological diagnosis, and this remains an important area with the development of more sophisticated classification systems and immunological and molecular techniques to further stratify patients into groups that require different treatment approaches. The concept of individualised treatment poses a major challenge in oncology but is one that must be enthusiastically addressed.
In 2002 a Lymphoma Study Group was established by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) to facilitate larger trials producing answers to important questions more quickly. The BNLI trials office became the Haematology Trials Group (Group) in the CRUK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre and the Group manages the majority of trials within the NCRI portfolio.
Individual trials are funded by competitive bidding to a variety of research agencies, setting up trials today is far more complex than in previous years with a large number of regulatory hurdles to be overcome. These contribute to patient safety, but require the next generation of clinicians who will be involved in the design and implementation of lymphoma trials, to receive specific training in trial management, regulatory affairs, ethics, statistical analysis and translational research. The Lymphoma Research Trust is responding to this need by supporting Clinical Trials Research Fellows based within the Group in the CRUK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre.
Professor of Haematology at UCL