I sympathise profoundly with anyone affected by blood cancer and I pay tribute to Anthony Nolan for the work it does in conducting vital research and supporting those with this disease. Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry has given thousands of people the opportunity to have a transplant where they previously may not have been able to be matched with a donor.
I appreciate that stem cell transplantation is a life-saving treatment. As you may be aware, in February, NHS England overturned its decision not to routinely fund second stem cell transplants for patients who suffer a relapse. I commend the determined efforts of Anthony Nolan and other blood cancer campaigners in their fight to defend this treatment.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the APPG on Stem Cell Transplantation’s Summer Reception on Tuesday 18 July as I was giving my Maiden Speech that day but i am intending to attend their drop-in event on Wednesday 11 October if my diary allows me.
I support the work of the APPG on Stem Cell Transplantation who are working with Anthony Nolan to expand the register of potential donors by developing the number of young, black, Asian and minority ethnic donors, who are particularly underrepresented on the current donor register.
More widely, the Cancer Strategy, published by an Independent NHS England Cancer Taskforce in 2015, contains proposals that could go a long way towards helping some of the estimated 2.5 million people living with cancer. If implemented in full, the strategy could save 30,000 more lives every year by 2020.