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Recent grants made

Lymphoma Clinical Trials Fellow

In November 2023, the Trustees awarded funding to the value of £71,009, for a lymphoma clinical trials fellow. This fellow will play a vital role in supporting the haematology trials group and the CR UK and UCL Cancer Trials Centre. A previous fellow, Dr Michael Northend, said:

“I worked as lymphoma clinical research fellow at the UCL Cancer Trials and UCLH between February 2020 and February 2022.  My experience during this time was invaluable in allowing me to form a subspecialty interest in lymphoma and to developing my career as a clinical researcher.”

The current fellow, Kushani Ediriwickrema said:

“My role as clinical fellow at the UCL CRUK Clinical Trials Centre has provided me with comprehensive experience in the management of many clinical trials at different points in their development and encompassing a diverse spectrum of haematological and brain malignancies with a focus on lymphoma trials.

This fellowship has granted me invaluable insights and serves as an excellent foundation for my future career pursuits as a consultant haematologist with a special interest in lymphoma and as a principal investigator of clinical trials.”

Dr Aishling Barrett, Oxford Cancer and Haematology Centre

In June 2023, the trustees awarded funding of £13,588 to Dr Barrett for the project on the analysis of the biomarker TARC (Thymus and activation-regulated chemokine) in Hodgkin Lymphoma, as part of the AVENuE clinical trial.  This project is looking to see whether a simple blood test can aid in determining how well a newly diagnosed Hodgkin patient is responding to immunotherapy.

Dr Rohan Shotton, The Christie and University of Manchester

In June 2023, the trustees awarded Dr Shotton a grant of £18,050 for a project investigating novel biomarkers of anthracycline-related cardiotoxicity.  The study aims to validate best performing mycardial candidate biomarkers in plasma, to develop reliable assays for these proteins and to explore novel mechanistic insights into the pathophysiology of anthraclycline-related cardiotoxicity.  It is anticipated that novel biomarkers and improved mechanistic understanding of anthracycline-related toxicity may allow prompt clinical management to avoid cardiac damage and ultimately lead to improved patient care.

Dr Daniel Friedman, King’s College

In November 2022, the trustees awarded Dr Friedman a grant of £26,930 for a project with the title “Identifying sub-fractions of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) cells that are primed for activation in the tissue micro-environment.”  This research will identify the different signalling pathways used by tumour B cells in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) which are critical for their survival and growth.  Using drugs to interfere with a range of signalling pathways, we will identify important signalling mediators in different activated B cell fractions.  This may guide the development of new therapeutic interventions for high risk CLL patients where tumour B cells are persisting after first-line therapies.  This project will also identify tumour B cells which are most readily reactivated in tissue.  Highlighting this tumour cell population may open up novel therapeutic strategies for future treatments in CLL.  In the wider context, these findings can have strong clinical relevance in treating patients for a range of B cell lymphomas.

Dr Edward Poynton, Barts Cancer Institute

In November 2022, the trustees awarded Dr Poynton a grant of £45,755 for a project with the title “Dissecting the molecular heterogeneity and evolution of central nervous system lymphomas.”  The project has three aims: to determine the molecular profiles of good-versus poor-risk primary CNS lymphoma patients, to assess if primary CNS lymphoma specific signatures could be tracked in the peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid-derived ctDNA samples, and to spatially resolve the immune micro-environment in primary CNS lymphoma using the Visium spatial gene expression profiling platform.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester

In November 2021, the Trustees awarded a team at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust £12,697 for a project investigating CSF microRNAs as potential diagnostic and prognostic markets in Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma.

Core Grant to Haematology Trials Group

In August 2021, the Trustees awarded funding to the value of £502,956 over a period of three calendar years from 2022 to 2024 to fund a tumour group lead, data manager, senior trials co-ordinator and a database developer, together dealing with setting up of databases, long-term follow up and publications of trials. The trials unit has delivered a large programme of work and continues to flourish.

Dr Ugonna Offor, University of Newcastle

In May 2021, the Trustees awarded funding of £30,762 to Dr Offor for his project Investigating Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) immunity in children at high risk of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD).

Dr. Christopher Carey, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle

In May 2019, the Trustees awarded funding of £21,981 to Dr. Carey for his project on immune biomarkers in Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Dr. David Cutter, Clinical Trial Service Unit, Oxford

In November 2018, the Trustees awarded £48,000 to Dr. Cutter for his project on the characterisation of the heart using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in patients with lymphoma receiving mediastinal radiotherapy.

This research will lead to the development of tests (biomarkers) that can detect the early effects of radiation on the heart and aim to provide evidence supporting the use of proton beam therapy (PBT) mediastinal lymphoma.  The ultimate aim of this research is to help obtain this evidence for adult patients with mediastinal lymphoma who could benefit from these forms of radiotherapy but who, without convincing evidence, may not be given access to these new treatments.
A secondary benefit is that these sensitive tests of cardiac damage or dysfunction will help demonstrate which patients are at higher risk of long-term side cardiac effects and will therefore help identify which patients should receive closer follow-up and surveillance for these effects, enabling early diagnosis and treatment of heart problems as necessary.

Dr. Robbert Hoogeboom, Kings College

In November 2018, the Trustees awarded £18,000 to Dr. Hoogeboom  for his project on Identifying Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor unresponsive malignant B cells.

The work aims to provide an explanation as to why not all tumour cells respond to treatment with BCR signalling inhibitors. This project will help identify those patients, where treatment with these types of drugs are likely to be less effective, which will enable an informed choice of an alternative or combination therapy.