Blood cancer is the UK’s fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the third biggest cancer killer. Bloodwise funds the Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN), a collaboration between epidemiologists, a centralised diagnostic service and 14 hospitals that are capturing detailed data of treatments, responses and outcomes to clinical trial standards from every blood cancer patient in Yorkshire and Humberside.

HMRN collects tissue samples, demographic data and self-reported information from patients, and follows patients from diagnosis for the rest of their lives.

Recorded data from 20,000 patients since 2004 and it has already offered invaluable insights into routes to diagnosis, gaps and inaccuracies in GP guidelines on symptoms, variations in treatment response and a socio-economic effect on survival. The findings are helping to inform clinical practice and research, improving treatment for blood cancer patients across the UK and beyond.

HMRN would not be possible without sharing health information. Insights gained are helping to spark new avenues of research and have the potential to influence the design and evaluation of new treatments. It could represent a paradigm for the management of other cancers and serious diseases. Researcher perspective