Thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of the Cure Leukaemia family and the charity’s flagship event, The Tour 21, we are delighted to announce the expansion of the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) Network from 12 to 15 Centres.

The charity funds the TAP Network, which consists of a network of specialist research nurses at blood cancer centres located in the UK’s biggest cities.

Today mark 100 days to go until the start of The Tour 21 and a team of 25 amateur cyclists take on all 21 stages of the Tour de France with the aim of raising over £1million to help maintain the TAP Network. To date, The Tour 21 has raised an incredible £4.3million towards the TAP Network with this year’s cyclists just passing the £300,000 mark.

The TAP network currently allows a catchment area of over 20,000,000 patients to be connected with world-class and potentially lifesaving treatments that would otherwise not be available to them through standard care – with over 40,000 people diagnosed with blood cancer every year.

Four new hospitals will join the network – Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, the Manchester Royal Infirmary and The Royal Marsden – and join Centres in Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Nottingham, Birmingham, Oxford, Southampton and London (x2) to form the TAP Network.

Cure Leukaemia was established in 2003 by Professor Charlie Craddock CBE and patients Graham Silk and Michael Woolley to allow patients with blood cancer in the Birmingham region to access remarkably effective new treatments which were then becoming available.

Following a two-year transformational charity partnership with Deutsche Bank in 2019, this allowed Cure Leukaemia to launch a 3-year £3,000,000 commitment to funding the national TAP Network.

Speaking about the expansion of the TAP Network, Cure Leukaemia Founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE said:

“Thanks to the generous funding of Cure Leukaemia’s transformational funding of the Trials Acceleration Programme, we are able to offer opportunities to deliver practice-changing clinical trials for blood cancer patients, with potentially globally significant results.”

Speaking about the expansion of the TAP Network, Professor Chris Fox, Haematology & Consultant Haematologist, University of Nottingham said:

“I’m delighted that Cure Leukaemia have continued to generously support the Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) network, committing a further 3 years of core funding for 15 centres of expertise across the UK. The geographical reach of the TAP network will increase access for patients with blood cancers to participate in clinical trials, allowing many more patients the opportunity to benefit from effective new treatments.”

“A wealth of new and potentially transformative treatments for blood cancer are on the horizon, but it is crucial that we understand how best to safely and effectively use such therapies and to identify which patients will benefit the most. This can only be achieved through well-designed clinical trials led by teams of blood cancer specialists; the TAP network is a hugely important UK-wide resource supporting this mission.”

Speaking about the expansion of the TAP Network, Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin was delighted to further the reach of the Network:

“We are excited to announce the expansion of the Trials Acceleration Programme with a further three centres across the UK. Through this, we are ensuring that the TAP Network covers an even wider catchment area than the previous three years, which will allow us to run more clinical trials and provide blood cancer patients with access to novel therapies which could help save more lives.”