Wednesday, 6 October 2010


A £20,000 contribution from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is helping further research into leukaemia within the north east.

Funding from the charity to the Leukaemia Research Cytogenetics Group has purchased an Olympus BHX6 fluorescence microscope, which is connected to a highly sophisticated image analysis system.

Professor Christine Harrison says: “This top of the range microscope is an important piece of equipment for us.

“Although our research is focussed on leukaemia, the techniques we’re using, and the use of the microscope, will be of great value to other researchers within the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

“We’re grateful to everyone who has raised money in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation for helping to make this purchase happen.”

The research of the Leukaemia Research Cytogenetics Group involves the study of chromosomes in the bone marrow cells of patients with leukaemia. Abnormalities of these chromosomes indicate the type of leukaemia that each patient has, and more importantly, they provide an indication of the how the patient will respond to treatment.

This feature helps form decisions regarding patient treatment according to their abnormality, which ensures that they are given the most appropriate therapy and increase survival rates.

Lady Elsie says: “It’s a pleasure meeting with Professor Harrison today and learning more about the excellent leukaemia research work being undertaken in Newcastle.

“My husband was keen to support research into leukaemia after the sad death of young Jordan Thompson who played for Newcastle United’s Academy. And we were pleased to contribute £30,000 to the new Teenage Cancer Unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary for the same reason.

“It was good to meet with Jordan’s mum Andrea today. Like so many people, we both have personal reasons to support research into all forms of cancer and I wish her well with her own fund-raising for the Toma Fund.”

The strength of research into blood cancers in Newcastle was recently recognised by the charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which described the city as a centre of excellence. In 2005 Sir Bobby officially opened the Paul O’Gorman Building at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.

Lady Elsie adds: “My family and I take great pride in the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and never more so than when we can see the benefits it can provide to local cancer experts.

“We’re very appreciative of all the hard work being undertaken to raise money in aid of the charity and were thrilled to pass the £2.5 million mark. I know Bob would be so proud to see his legacy continuing to help other people fighting cancer.”

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is currently involved in detailed discussions regarding significant investment into ground-breaking research equipment, which will benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria. This is a lengthy process due to the scale of the investment and the charity hopes to be able to announce details in the coming months.