Leukaemia, multiple myeloma (Kahler’s disease), lymphatic cancer and related disorders are among the most prevalent forms of cancer. In the Netherlands approximately 1.500 people are diagnosed with leukaemia and 1.100 patients succumb to the disease. Lymphatic cancer is one of the most prevalent malignant cancers among foreigners.
Blood and lymphatic cancer presents at any age. There is a peak in children and young adults but the largest number of new patients is between 50 and 80 years of age. The tumours in this last group are nearly always metastatic. The average prognosis of 5 years in patients under 60 with aggressive forms of acute leukaemia and lymphatic cancer is never–the-less 40%. These results can be attributed to invasive therapies such as stem cell transplantation. The results by older patients are less favourable, but new so-called targeted therapy with an immunologic or molecular target is opening prospects for a better future.
Improvement in the dissemination of information, prevention of, and research on these diseases is being addressed in various ways. This takes place in collaboration with the KWF Kankerbestrijding, the intergrated cancer centers, stichting HOVON and patient societies (Stichting Contactgroep Leukemie, Lymfeklierkanker vereniging Nederland, Contactgroep Kahler en Waldenström patiënten, Contactgroep Stamceltransplantatie).
Within Europe there is collaboration with LeukemiaNet, European Myeloma Network, European Organisation for the Research on Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), European Hematology Association (EHA), European Bone Marrow Transplantation Group (EBMT), Europdonor, EuroCord,European MCL network and Intergroup studies from the HOVON trial network with other groups (among others SAKK and MRC). Besides this there is collaboration with the industry (principally Pharmacology) and participation in Pharmaceutical trials.