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Project information

More effective treatments for childhood leukaemia

This ground-breaking blood cancer research is seeking to find smarter, more effective, and kinder ways to treat childhood leukaemia by exploring the origins and development of the disease.

June 2016 - May 2021

Charity information: Bloodwise

Bloodwise logo
  • Need


    Despite great progress in medical research, some leukaemias still do not respond to current treatments, or the disease returns. For those children who do relapse, their disease becomes even harder to treat and their options rapidly begin to run out.

    Additionally, current treatments are brutal, not only destroying cancer cells but also damaging healthy cells. Chemotherapy can last for years, and can lead to crippling side effects, such as strokes, infertility, and even second cancer.


    We urgently need kinder cures.

    This exciting research programme will investigate and analyse the faulty genes that drive childhood leukaemia and improve our ability to pinpoint the biological features that are key to treatment resistance and relapse.

    It is hoped that this information can be utilised to design less toxic, more effective and targeted drugs, particularly for hard-to-treat, relapsed disease.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To investigate and analyse the faulty genes that drive childhood leukaemia.


    » Through identifying the pattern of gene mutations in childhood leukaemia.

    What success will look like

    If successful, this research will improve our ability to pinpoint the biological features that are key to treatment resistance and relapse.

  • Impact


    As well as helping children who do not respond well to current treatments, this work may ultimately help scientists to develop targeted therapies that stop leukaemia developing in the first place.


    Bloodwise receives more than 150 applications every year from leading researchers. Our rigorous selection process involves expert peer reviewers from the research community around the world who give their time freely to evaluate the applications, considering aims, methods, expertise and cost-effectiveness.
    Each application is assessed by up to five peer reviewers and is then considered by our funding committee.
    This process ensures that the projects we support are of the very highest quality.


    To share the exciting progress achieved with the wider public, Bloodwise produces blogs for our website, incorporates the new knowledge into patient information guides, and hosts ‘Impact Days’. Where appropriate, we also issue press releases.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £1,589,341

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,114,416 Staff costs Benchmarked salaries for six researchers, including London weighting.
      £300,000 Laboratory costs esential recurrent and equiptment costs which enable scientists to carry out their research.
      £124,925 Animal model Animal models are needed to study the behaviour of leukaemia.
      £50,000 Whole genome sequencing This allows researchers to analyse the genetic changes within a single leukaemia cell.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Charitable Trust 1 £200,000 Guaranteed
    Charitable Trust 2 £105,000 Guaranteed
    Charitable Trust 3 £10,000 Guaranteed
    Charitable Trust 4 £10,000 Guaranteed
    Individual donors £81,315 Guaranteed
  • Background


    UCL Cancer Institute, University College London


    Children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL); around 400 children are diagnosed with ALL each year.

    As the project is looking at the root causes of leukaemia, and the development of targeted drugs, it is expected to also have far reaching benefits in the treatment of other leukaemias.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Bloodwise is the UK’s specialist blood cancer research charity. We are dedicated to supporting world-class research that changes the lives of people living with blood cancer.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Professor Tariq Enver

    Professor Tariq Enver, a world-leading cancer expert, is leading this important project.