Trials Enabling Program

Dr Wei is helping deliver the Leukaemia Foundation Trials Enabling Program

In an Australian first, we have established a funding program that will help blood cancer patients to access promising new drugs currently being tested abroad.

We  are committed to supporting initiatives that improve health outcomes for blood cancer patients including improved access to new drugs that may be more effective than those currently available. One of the ways to do this is through clinical trials which are the pivotal step in a long process to prove the effectiveness and safety of potential new treatments discovered in the laboratory. By participating in a clinical trial, patients can access potentially lifesaving treatments not currently available to them. If a clinical trial is successful, the drug can go on to become a new treatment option for patients in the wider community. Most major clinical trials coordinated by international research groups require the costs for running the study to be funded locally. This has prevented Australian trial sites from participating in many important clinical trials around the world.

A new program to speed things up

We have partnered with the nation’s leading blood cancer clinical trial group – the Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group (ALLG) – to establish the Trials Enabling Program, so that Australian patients can take part in internationally-led trials without leaving the country, and at no additional cost beyond their normal health care costs. The clinical trials will deliver new therapeutic drugs to patients years ahead of the expected availability on the Australian market. Participation in a clinical trial means patients are getting access to the latest groundbreaking research. This innovative program is the first time that an Australian charity has established a grant partnership to help patients access international blood cancer trials.

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UK trial the first

The first trial to be funded through the program is a UK trial aiming to improve treatments for elderly patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and high risk myelodysplastic syndrome for whom conventional chemotherapy is not considered suitable. Associate Professor Andrew Wei, pictured, is heading up the first trial. We aim to fund additional trials which will benefit patients with other blood cancers.

Danny Widdicombe's story

Each day, 35 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. While there has been remarkable progress in the development of new treatments over the past decades, every two hours someone still loses their life to a blood cancer. We see additional support for clinical trials as necessary to fast-track the delivery of new drugs and therapies to improve outcomes for blood cancer patients. But we can’t do it alone. The average cost of one person participating in an international trial through the Trials Enabling Program is $5,000. As a non-government organisation, we rely on community donations to provide support for patients and continue towards our goal of beating blood cancers. We aim to initially give 125 people the opportunity to access potentially lifesaving treatment through the Trials Enabling Program at an estimated total cost of more than $600,000.

To support the Trials Enabling Program, you can give online or call 1800 620 420 today.

For more information about participating in a clinical trial through the Trials Enabling Program, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group on info@allg.org.au or www.allg.org.au.

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