Blood Cancer UK renews partnership with RareCan to accelerate research into rare cancers

Blood Cancer UK has renewed its partnership with RareCan to support the growth of RareCan’s patient membership and the rapid delivery of clinical trials focussed on the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of rare cancers.

The partnership will continue to enable individuals living with forms of rare blood cancers, including types of leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, to volunteer to take part in potentially lifesaving clinical research, by providing tissue and blood samples, and genetic data.

RareCan is a digital health company, building a community of members who are willing to share information about their cancer. It gives power to patients and a platform to share their experiences while at the same time building significant numbers of cohorts so that researchers can find them in a keystroke. Established in 2020, RareCan offers a suite of tools, co-designed by its members, to help support them manage their lives as they live with their rare cancer.

Those members with multiple myeloma who are already part of the RareCan community have had the opportunity to be screened for possible clinical trials and more recently have been invited to join the Myeloma Research Panel run by Pfizer. As the RareCan membership continues to grow, so will the opportunities for new members with a blood cancer diagnosis.

Blood cancer is the UK’s third biggest cancer killer, with around 16,000 people dying with it each year. With surgery rarely an option for treating this kind of cancer, it’s crucial that investment into research to find new and better treatments continues so even more lives can be saved. RareCan offers a rich source of valuable information to researchers, providing rapid, joined up access to patients, data and bio-samples, reducing the time it takes researchers to find the exact patients or tissue needed for their rare cancer targets from months to weeks.

Each year, around 5,000 people with blood cancer, whose blood cancer is stable and slow-growing are put on ‘watch and wait’, however, this can often be a worrying time for those living through this experience.

“Where suitable making people aware of and directing them to RareCan could give people an opportunity to help researchers, and importantly give them hope that they can make a positive impact for themselves, and others in the future,” said Sarah McDonald, Deputy Director of Research at Blood Cancer UK.

“It is fantastic that Blood Cancer UK are actively renewing our partnership to support RareCan’s evolution and for the research community as a whole,” said Piers Kotting, Founding Director and Chief Executive Officer at RareCan.

“We have already demonstrated that there is an unmet demand for people with rare cancer, and we know that by working together with Blood Cancer UK, RareCan will continue to grow cohorts in many of the rare blood cancers where research is lacking, allowing researchers access to detailed clinical, molecular and genetic data to identify the right patients at the right time. We look forward to welcoming all new members with a rare blood cancer to the RareCan community.”

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