Calls for government action

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Lewes MP Maria Caulfield has backed calls for government action on blood cancer after a charity revealed one in three transplant patients die within a year of treatment.

Maria is supporting the Destination: Cure campaign, launched by Anthony Nolan, which runs the UK’s stem cell and bone marrow donor register. The charity also revealed that one in eight patients in need of a stem cell or bone marrow transplant do not find a donor, and praised the vital contribution of selfless individuals who donate their stem cells and bone marrow.

Maria Caulfield MP, who was a cancer nurse herself before becoming an MP, said:“The Destination: Cure campaign is a very important reminder of the difficult challenges faced by blood cancer patients in need of a lifesaving transplant. It’s absolutely vital the government does all it can to support the recruitment of donors, boost scientific research and provide long-term care for patients in need.”

In the next five years, more than 11,000 people with blood cancer or a blood disorder will depend upon a stem cell transplant from a stranger.

Anthony Nolan’s campaign aims to save the lives of each of these people by calling for more investment into the donor register, more pioneering research and better post-transplant care.

Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “For people in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, finding a matching donor is a potentially lifesaving milestone and usually their only hope of survival.

“Every day, selfless individuals give these patients a fighting chance by donating their stem cells, but heartbreakingly, for every two people who are alive a year after their transplant, there is one person who is not.

“We need the government to act now to accelerate research into why some patients survive and others do not. The odds are not good enough.”

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