Published 1 February 2017

The Duke of Kent has paid a visit to a UCL laboratory supported by Bloodwise to see how cutting-edge research is revolutionising treatment for children with leukaemia.

The blood cancer charity Bloodwise (previously Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research) is funding a programme led by Professor Tariq Enver, which is looking at ways to overcome treatment resistance in the most common form of childhood leukaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Professor Enver’s team are aiming to specifically target the genetic faults and networks that drive drug-resistant cancer, making treatments kinder and more effective than current chemotherapy options.

The Duke of Kent, who has been Patron of the charity since 1972, was taken on a tour of the laboratories at University College London (UCL) by Professor Enver. One technique demonstrated during the tour was  ‘fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis’, which uses light to count, profile and group large populations of leukaemia cells.

The Duke has visited Bloodwise's laboratories on numerous previous occasions, and takes a real interest in the ongoing research and development making a difference to people's lives.

Dr Alasdair Rankin, Director of Research at Bloodwise, said: “Chemotherapy currently used to treat childhood leukaemia is not always effective and can cause serious damage to healthy cells and tissue. This project provides hope of pinpointing the specific cancer pathways that lie at the root of treatment resistance in childhood leukaemia and could lead to exciting new targeted treatments.”

You can find out more about Bloodwise at www.bloodwise.org.uk