Littlehampton Lions help fund ground-breaking genetic research project

Littlehampton District Lions Club is one of the supporters across Sussex which has enabled funding to be provided for a ground-breaking genetic research project.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 1:54 pm

Haslemere-based charity Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA) has provided £56,000 for King’s College Hospital in London to use for a research project focusing on aplastic anaemia, a serious condition affecting the blood, and related blood cancers, thanks to Lions clubs across the south and other supporters.

Littlehampton Lions Club member John Taylor, a LIBRA trustee, said: “I would like to thank supporters from across the county who have continued to provide support throughout lockdown.

“We have received generous donations and many of our supporters have taken up online fundraising activities via our website libralionscharity.org.

Research into aplastic anaemia has been funded by LIBRA

“We wish the haematology team the very best with this ground-breaking genetic research project. They are leading the way with this research and we hope that the results bring about more positive outcomes for patients with Aplastic Anaemia and those with related blood cancers.

“Looking forward, we aim to raise £300,000 towards our current Going for Gold campaign, backed by Dame Kelly Holmes MBE. The funds will ensure new lifesaving and life-improving treatments can be created at King’s and any support is much appreciated.

“We have lots of fundraising ideas on libralions.charity.com.”

King’s College Hospital was recently selected as the site to carry out research on samples obtained from 210 patients with aplastic anaemia, treated throughout Europe as part of a clinical trial.

To complete the research, Ghulam Mufti, the professor of haemato-oncology who is leading the study alongside his colleague Professor Judith Marsh, requested £56,000 of funding.

LIBRA trustees agreed to support the project so the professors and their team can carry out in-depth analysis of the genes of the immune system known as HLA types on all samples.

Professor Mufti said: “The detailed analysis will enable us to determine whether specific HLA types are associated with AA and the emergence of malignant clones.

“It will also reveal how the immune system may or may not deal with such cells when they are present at low levels in the blood.

“We are so incredibly grateful to this forward-thinking charity and its supporters for providing vital funding towards this project.

“The results from the study will be pivotal in understanding key questions in a disease that carries incredibly significant mortality and morbidity.

“More importantly, it will also allow novel therapies for this disease as well as acute myeloid leukaemia or myelodysplastic syndromes.”