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Better Funding for Research into Blood Diseases Will Save More Lives
Date:8/31/2011

BRUSSELS, August 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Research into blood-related diseases saves and improves the lives of millions of EU citizens each year, but lack of awareness of this fact means that too often, funding does not feed directly enough into advancing the treatment of patients.

"Haematology is probably the area of medicine that has progressed the most in recent years," said Professor Robin Foà of "La Sapienza" University of Rome. "For example, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most frequent form of cancer in children, used to kill most children that had it. Before, we used to cure 20 to 30 percent of cases; these days, we cure 80 per cent of cases." He added: "If we had more funding, we could definitely do more."

This was one of the key messages on the first day of a two-day conference, "Haematology and the next European decade", hosted by the European Parliament to highlight the positive impact of haematology research across a range of medical conditions, and the leading role it will have in the knowledge economy envisaged in the European Union's 2020 Strategy.

Today the conference - attended by doctors, researchers, parliamentarians, patients' organisations and Commission officials - also discussed the European Commission's Green Paper on the Common Strategic Framework for the funding of research and innovation, which will affect how much of the €80 billion allocated in the next EU budget to all areas of research will go towards health.

Haematology - a discipline covering all blood-related areas, from frequent diseases like anaemia to rare cancers, including malignant and non-malignant diseases - is always at the forefront of medical research, both at its basic level and its application, which these days often involves working closely with the biotechnology industries.

It is literally vital for patients that any new EU legislation should improve co-operation for more and better-targeted funding for
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SOURCE European Hematology Association
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