Fundraising will support the work of leading local researcher in myeloma, Dr Lisa Crawford, who is a lecturer based at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast.
Dr Crawford is pioneering new research into enhancing treatments for myeloma and to fund it Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI has launched the MyMATTERS (Myeloma Metabolic Manipulation To Enhance Response) appeal to raise the £100,000 needed. The charity strongly believes in prioritising research that will support the future needs which an increasing older population will require. It is estimated that by 2039, the population aged 65 and over will have increased by 74% and the population aged 85 and over will have increased by 157%.
The research aims to study metabolism within myeloma cells to identify ways to improve existing treatments — making them last longer as well as improving the quality of life for thousands of people living with myeloma today and tomorrow.
With over 10 years’ experience in researching myeloma, Dr Crawford and her team aim to understand how metabolism works to help myeloma cells survive and from this research it will help identify ways to enhance existing treatments.
Dr Crawford feels passionately about finding answers to questions that could make such a huge difference for our loved ones, in Northern Ireland and across the world.
Speaking about the urgency of the research, she says: “Myeloma may be more treatable, but it is still incurable. My research matters because today’s treatment for myeloma might not be as effective tomorrow. This research is vital as existing treatments for myeloma are initially successful in treating the disease but patients often develop resistance and stop responding to treatment.
“No two patients are the same and a one size fits all approach to treatment will not work.
“New therapeutic strategies to tackle drug resistance and disease relapse are urgently needed for the growing elderly population that will develop myeloma over the next 10 years. More effective treatments will increase quality of life, adding life to years as well as years to life.”
Experts indicate that myeloma is projected to rise by 11% in the UK by 2035.
New, enhanced and effective treatments will increase survival rates as well as improve the quality of care for the ageing population.
This is incredibly important as the Northern Ireland ageing population is set to increase and myeloma is a type of blood cancer normally prevalent in people over the age of 60.
Investing over £650,000 this year in local cancer research, Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI is the only charity in Northern Ireland solely dedicated to fighting leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other related conditions.
To help fund MyMATTERS and world class life-enhancing research in Belfast, local people, communities and businesses are urged to get involved.
For more information on how you can help support MyMATTERS, visit llni.co.uk