Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI branch out to clinical support.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Despite being traditionally research based, Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI have recently been branching out into clinical support to strengthen the bench to bedside links here in Northern Ireland. 

There is significant evidence to suggest that patients who take part in clinical trials do tend to benefit from better results regardless of the success of the drug. This can be attributed to being more closely monitored by a clinical nurse and other benefits of group therapy.  It’s vital that we try to provide patients here with the important opportunity to be part of UK trials and state of the art treatments.

In January 2016, Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI worked alongside Belfast City Hospital to support a clinical trial for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, following on from this our co-funded Clinical Trials Nurse, Ruth Irwin took up her post in Belfast last October.  It’s hoped that the success of the trial and the recruitment of a specialist nurse has made Belfast a more attractive host centre for new experimental treatments.

Our efforts to improve Clinical Trials access have now branched into specialist training; Dr Bridgin Merron has recently completed her haematology training and will now spend the next year at Southampton University as she completes a Clinical Trials Fellowship. This is a fantastic opportunity and Dr Merron has taken this post with a view to returning to Northern Ireland with new skills and experience which will expand and develop the clinical trials portfolio in Northern Ireland for haematology patients.

Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI have co-funded Dr Merron’s Fellowship along with Southampton University, this is an extremely well respected campus which hosts an Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre and a Clinical Trials Unit. 

During her Fellowship Bridgin will be under the supervision of Professor Peter Johnson. Professor Johnson specialises in the treatment of lymphoma, and is the Chief Investigator for several lymphoma trials both nationally and internationally.

We will keep you updated on Dr Merron’s progress throughout the year and we look forward to seeing her return to Antrim Hospital with her new skills.