Bud Flanagan Leukaemia Fund 

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Objective of the Fund
The objective of the Fund is the promotion of clinical and laboratory research into the treatment and possible cure of leukaemia and allied diseases.
A popular aim of the BFLF is to support the Leukaemia/Myeloma Unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

We specifically aim to support research into a particular aspect of cause, diagnosis or treatment of leukaemia and assisting with the dissemination of knowledge into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of leukaemia.

The Fund also aims to provide support for patients and to improve the environment for patients with these diseases.
All applications are considered at the discretion of the Executive Committee on their merits.
Grants are not normally made to other charities or major fund raising appeals or to individuals.

Research aims
Although treatment is now more successful for leukaemia, with significant numbers of patients being cured, there are still a substantial number of patients that relapse. The Bud Flanagan Leukaemia Fund aims to develop and introduce new treatments for these diseases. It is only by doing this that we will be able to improve patient outcomes and cure.

Projects funded
Within the criteria defined by the Executive Committee for making grants, the following projects have been recently funded:

The Royal Marsden Hospital: Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
The Fund recognises the importance of providing support for patients during their treatment. The treatments are often prolonged and require long periods of in patient stay. It was for these reasons that the Fund contributed over a million pounds to the refurbishment of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, paying particular attention to the environment and surroundings for patients undergoing these treatments.

The specialised environment reduces the risk of infections, but also improves the quality of life for these patients while they are on treatment.



Sharon West, Consultant Nurse Specialist, says:
“The Bud Flanagan Unit enables patients to be nursed in single rooms which offers patients more privacy with all the rooms having ensuite facilities. The rooms also have fridges and televisions with DVD players and computers with internet access and webcams allowing contact with friends and family. There are 2 negative pressure rooms where we can treat patients with respiratory and other infections.

Infection control procedures have been reviewed and this means that patients are allowed to have more than one visitor at a time; previously they could only have one named visitor in the room at any one time, and other visitors had to talk to patients through a plastic window. Nurses and visitors no longer had to gown up with protective clothing and we now only wear aprons. We can do more transplants as we have more single rooms and there is the facility for relatives to stay but only when the patient is acutely unwell”.

The Royal Marsden Hospital:  New Drugs
The Fund has directly provided support for the Drug Development Programme in the Haematology Unit at The Royal Marsden Hospital.  In particular, money from the Fund has been used to develop a team who can evaluate new drugs, ‘small molecules’, which often lack the severe toxicity of prior chemotherapeutic regimens.  The Fund considers this to be an important area to support as it gives hope to people with otherwise incurable disease.  It provides an effective way of improving the care of these patients, and it is in this fashion that new treatments for patients can be developed that lack the toxicity of other approaches.

The Royal Marsden Hospital: Database Development
The Fund has supported the establishment of an evaluation of the value of current treatments for cases treated in the Haematology Unit.  This has been done in conjunction with the Fergus McClay Database and the Jenny Bidwell Database.  The data that has been collected includes the nature and type of disease, the treatment given, and the outcomes achieved.  This is a very simple, but highly effective way of making improvements in treatment.  By analysing this data we can understand which patients responded best to which treatments and this information provides a data driven way of selecting the best treatment for any individual patient.  This, combined with recruitment into clinical trials, means that we should rapidly make progress in the delivery of effective treatments, and improvement in cure rates.

The Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer ResearchCancer Fingerprinting and Personalised Medicine
Everybody’s cancer is different and as we develop new treatments, it is important to select treatments that work for an individual patient and have the fewest side effects.  The Fund believes that this is the best way to improve survival and outcomes for patients in the short term.  Consequently, the Fund has invested in developing fingerprinting technologies based on ‘gene-chips’, able to characterise individual cancers.  Complex computer programmes can be used to analyse the data for these ‘Chips’ giving a characteristic signature for the cancer.  This signature is then matched to the treatments available for the treatment of that cancer subtype.

The Bud Flanagan Leukaemia Fund
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