|ELF has been working hard to help advance the treatment and care of blood cancer patients for over 40 years. These advances are the result of the donations that many individuals, charitable trusts and companies have made to us. As we look forward to building upon the work that we have achieved, we hope that we will continue to receive all your support as there is still much to be done to conquer blood cancers.As a Charity, ELF has always favoured supporting work that will improve patients’ lives with our strong focus on patient centred work.ELF has also worked closely with health professional and Hospitals to identify areas of work where we were able to make a positive contribution, and spend your donations where they would have a significant impact.
The provision of facilities to support the day to day treatment of blood cancer patients as well as developing new treatments has been one of the more important contributions ELF has made. One of the first major projects ELF funded was with a £50,000 grant to help set up the Isobel Mitchell DNA laboratory at King’s College Hospital. Opened in 1998 by Nobel Laureate Maurice Wilkins, this was an important step in establishing the Haematology Department at King’s College Hospital as a world leading centre. The laboratory was refurbished in 2005 and continues to provide support for patient care.
Another major facility project was the haematological part of King’s College London’s Rayne Institute for which ELF made a grant of £500,000. The Institute continues to make important contributions towards advancing the cure and treatment of blood cancers.
ELF provided a £25,700 grant to King’s in 2008 to refurbish its Apheresis Unit, and we continue to provide grants for facilities.
ELF has also enabled a full upgrade of the out-patient unit at King’s.
ELF/LIBRA Ward: In January 2015, we were immensely proud as the new haematology ward at Kings College Hospital, named the ELF and LIBRA ward was opened. The ward has been named after us in recognition of almost 40 years of funding and support that has been provided by ELF, to improve the care of leukaemia patients. Professor Ghulam Mufti, Head of the Haematology Department, said: “The Elf and LIBRA Ward provides us with additional bed space for patients with leukaemia and non leukaemic blood disorders such as sickle cell. We decided to name the ward after ELF as the charity has made a significant contribution towards haematology at Kings”. Twenty five years ago Kings College Hospital had no beds available uniquely for haematology patients. Now the Hospital boasts four wards, including the Derek Mitchell Unit which was named after the founder of ELF.
On the Wards
ELF has tried to make sure that most of its grants are ‘patient centred ‘. In the past few years ELF has funded a number of new Clinical Nurses Specialists (CNS) posts to help establish the role of these posts.
In 2006 ELF awarded a grant to Guy’s Hospital London, to help establish the key CNS post for the new Adolescent and Young Adult Unit. In the following year a grant was awarded to Kings College London, to establish a Post Transplant CNS post to support those King’s patients who have had a bone marrow transplant.
ELF also provided equipment for wards, such as Vital signs patient monitors, fridges, TV’s and the furnishing of the New Waddington ward’s Patients Family Room at King’s.
In 1997 ELF introduced a Fellowship Scheme to enable clinicians, nurses, clinical scientists and related health professionals attend conferences, workshops and short term visits to centres of excellence. It has been ELF’s aim that through education, we can advance the cure and treatment of blood cancers. Since its inception more than 150 fellowships have been awarded. ELF has also awarded special fellowships to nurses to support them with their training in haematological conditions.
ELF has also been supporting the Clinical Psychologist post at Guy’s since 2013. For full details on this relatively new initiative, see Our Current Activities.
Patient Support Grants
It has always been part of ELF’s aim to help patients who, as a result of their illness with a blood cancer, fall into financial hardship. We are able to offer grants of up to £500 to patients who fulfil our criteria to help with help for transport and heating. We have also been able to provide a new bath for one patient and the cost of a taxi ride for a dad and his wheelchair to attend his daughter’s wedding.
An area where ELF has made a major contribution has been in translational research. This is research that takes discoveries made in the laboratory and shapes them into potentially new treatments.
In 1994 a grant of £478,000 was awarded to King’s College London for a Minimal Residual Disease Detection project. This resulted in a DNA based test which is now used to determine whether the treatment has eradicated the cancer or whether traces of the cancer remains. This technique was a major advance in the treatment of leukaemia.
An important stage in providing new therapies is the Clinical Trial. ELF has supported a major clinical trial at King’s College London and King’s College Hospital with grants totalling £790,000 awarded to Professor Farzin Farzaneh and Professor Ghulam Mufti for their long running project which has culminated in a gene therapy trial for Acute Myeloid Leukamia (AML). If this work is successful the benefit will be longer remission in poor prognosis AML patients, for whom other forms of therapy have failed.
ELF has also supported a clinical trial’s programme at Great Ormond Street Hospital which found new treatments for children with AML.
Who ELF has supported
The organisations that ELF has supported over the last 40 years include: