It is the largest one off grant we have ever agreed to, but will be of huge benefit to the research team, and therefore, huge benefit to our patients.
The purchase ensures that the our researchers at Newcastle University have all the equipment they need to enable them to continue with their progress, helping not only our patients, but patients across the world.
Newcastle is already one of the safest places to be for blood cancer patients. It’s investment in equipment like this which will help use achieve the ultimate goal of being the safest in the world.
“Thanks to Bright Red we now have one of the best flow sorters in the country. This allows us to separate out and purify different white cells from the blood, including stem cells and leukaemia cells. The new machine is faster, more sensitive and safer than anything we have used before.”
“The funding from Bright Red will really boost our output of high calibre science. In the recent Research Excellence Framework, our work was rated four-star, the highest rating but we continually need to refine our technology and push boundaries if we are to make contributions that really matter to curing blood cancers and improving the lives of patients.” Prof Matt Collin
Bright Red agreed to the funding of a £16,000 net generation sequencing analysis in acute myeloid leukaemia.
Cancer cells very often have abnormalities of chromosomes and genes as part of the malignant process (these genetic abnormalities are nothing to do with inheritance, but are restricted to the cancer cells). In leukaemias such as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), detecting these genetic abnormalities in the bone marrow cells can be very useful in identifying which type of leukaemia a patient has, how aggressive it may be and which treatment regime will be most effective. Samples from almost all new acute leukaemias arising in the North East are sent to the NHS Northern Genetics Service to test for these chromosome and gene abnormalities. Among the tests carried out are screening of the FLT3 and NPM1 genes, since mutations in FLT3 can identify patients with high-risk disease needing aggressive treatments, while NPM1 mutations are associated with better survival on standard treatment.
Recent studies have identified over 20 other genes which are recurrently mutated in AML cells.
“This Bright Red funded project used new next generation DNA sequencing technologies to allow simultaneous detection of mutations in all of the genes frequently affected in AML in one single test. The extra information generated for haematologists will allow them to determine the best therapy for each AML patient in the North East.” – Gavin Cuthbert