Every 14 minutes, someone is diagnosed with blood cancer. Anthony Nolan is the charity that makes lifesaving connections between patients in need and individuals who are willing to donate their stem cells. As well as connecting patients and donors, the charity also funds research that could transform the future for more patients. Earlier this year, our admin assistant Phoebe was contacted by Anthony Nolan to donate lymphocytes towards this research.

We thought it would be a great opportunity to share Phoebe’s experience, while also sharing information about blood cancer and blood disorders. [There are a couple of photos of Phoebe’s donation experience, including one showing the cannula.]

The Donation Process

I signed up to the Anthony Nolan register when I was in 1st year of university, in 2016. I remember that there was a tent at the Freshers’ Week fair and all you had to do was donate a saliva sample and fill out a form. I had initially been a bit nervous, because I associated stem cell donation with a surgical procedure, but was very surprised to find out that 90% of donors donate through PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell collection). This is a simple, outpatient procedure similar to giving blood. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes, and then I didn’t hear from AN until April 2023.

One afternoon in early April, I received a call from the donor team, explaining that they were interested in my HLA type for research – HLA is a type of molecule found on the surface of most cells in the body that helps your immune system. As they had my information on their database from that 2016 swab, the research team were able to identify that I was eligible to contribute to an Oxford University study looking at both the discovery and T-cell targeting of antigens that would be considered non-self and expressed in sarcoma.

I spoke to the donor team on the phone for around 30 minutes, where they explained that if I was happy to donate lymphocytes I would be invited for a medical assessment. If that was clear, I would donate by running my blood through a centrifuge which would extract the lymphocytes. I was more than happy to do so, as I have given blood before and was more than happy to undergo a similar process in order to contribute to potentially life-saving research.

I travelled to London in April for my medical, where I met the medical team at The London Clinic and had bloods taken, along with an ECG, my blood pressure and physical examination. The results of my tests were all clear, so I was invited back in May to donate. This process could not have been more straightforward.

I arrived at the Clinic at 8:30, met the nursing team and was very well looked after. I was in a quiet ward with one other individual donating for Anthony Nolan, and I was able to fully move one of my arms the whole time so I was very comfortable. The whole process took around 5 hours from start to finish. The team had explained that the anti-coagulant solution they use in the centrifuge may bind with the calcium in my blood, meaning that it didn’t come back into my body and so the only real “hiccup” was that (as expected) this happened and I was given some supplementary calcium.

Once I finished, I was given lunch at the hospital and travelled back to Scotland.

Why is this important? Blood Cancers

As you know, our blood is made up of different cell types including red blood cells for carrying oxygen, platelets to help blood clot and white blood cells that fight infections.

They all originally come from stem cells, which have the potential to develop into any type of blood cell as they divide and mature. Problems in this process, known as ‘differentiation’, are at the root of all blood cancers. Different types of blood cancer depend on when and how these problems occur.

These problems often lead to your body producing large numbers of immature blood cells that can’t perform their job properly. They can also ‘clog up’ your bone marrow, which prevents other types of blood cells from doing their job too.

Blood cancers are categorised into three groups – leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.

  • About 2,300 people in the UK need a stem cell transplant from a stranger every year    
  • Blood cancer is the fifth most common type of cancer in the UK and the third biggest cancer killer. It accounts for 9% of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in the UK.   

Depending on the type of blood cancer, there are different treatment pathways. Each of these comes with its own side effects, which are taught as part of our Level 4 CanRehab Specialist Instructor course. In order to learn more about these cancers, as well as how you can safely work with people with cancer, visit our website or email CanRehab for more information at info@canrehab.co.uk

If you’re interested in learning more about Anthony Nolan and their work, or the study that Phoebe contributed to please visit their website or get in touch with us at admin@canrehab.co.uk

Guy’s and St Thomas’ / Guy’s Cancer Centre Physiotherapy Department is looking to recruit Level 4 CanRehab trained personal trainers and therapists into a couple of vacancies currently available within their team. Apply through the link below.

Location: London Closing Date: 21 June 2023 23:59


Guy’s and St Thomas’ is among the UK’s busiest and most successful NHS foundation trusts. We provide a full range of hospital and community services for people in south London and as well as specialist care for patients from further afield including cancer, renal, orthopaedic, respiratory and cardiovascular services.

The cancer physiotherapy team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust are calling for dynamic, and motivated individuals, looking for an opportunity to join our Cancer Therapy Team working within the award-winning Guy’s Cancer Centre.

Two opportunities exist for an experienced personal trainer, or Band 3 or 4 rehabilitation instructors, looking to develop their skills in cancer rehabilitation and work in an outpatient team.

Applicants would ideally have previous experience of working with people with cancer or a strong desire to do so. The applicants would be providing person-centred assessments and intervention to cancer patients throughout their treatment pathway from pre-habilitation to rehabilitation. Successful applicants will be involved in leading one to one and group exercise sessions, delivering these either remotely or in-person, as well as carrying out administrative tasks to support the team. The post holders will be required to support service developments and show flexibility when adapting to and leading change. Excellent communication, organisational and information technology skills are essential for the roles. Please refer to additional uploaded documents on the link below for job description details and personal specification. 

For more information on the job details and how to apply, head to the original job posting HERE.

Main area: Physiotherapy | Contract: Permanent | Hours: Full time 37.5 hrs per week

On February 12th 2023, Yes to Life, the UK’s integrative cancer care charity, will be hosting what promises to be a thrilling live exploration of a fresh perspective on the mechanisms of cancer. Following eight years of intensive study and research, Mark Lintern will be introducing himself and giving a detailed explanation of his ideas that present a coherent view of carcinogenesis, and have the potential to explain all ten of Hanahan and Weinberg’s hallmarks, as well as to enable an understanding of a further twenty hitherto unexplained features of the disease.

If you are a cancer specialist, you will be well aware of the potential implications of this for both treatment and prevention. But any claimed new thinking about such a thoroughly well-researched disease must be able to stand up to intense scientific scrutiny, and that is precisely what the content of this event will constitute. Three expert panels – of cancer scientists, cancer clinicians and expert patients – will have ample opportunity to question every facet of the thinking, as well as to register their confidence in it, and suggest how we might take things forward.

The Esteemed Panellists:
To ensure a thorough evaluation of these new proposals, we are delighted to welcome these leading thinkers in the field of cancer to our panels:
Scientists: • Prof Paul Davies  • Dr Ahmed El-Sakka • Dr Robert Gatenby PhD MD • Prof Michael Lisanti MD-PhD FRSA FRSB FRSC
Clinicians: • Dr Sean Devlin DO MD(H) HMD MS • Dr Nasha Winters ND FABNO • Dr Penny Kechagioglou MBBS (Honours), MRCP, CCT (Clin Onc), MPH, MBA Clinical Oncologist Expert Patients: • Jane McLelland • Daniel Stanciu • Mark Sean Taylor

“For over 2 decades we have evolved our Hallmarks of Cancer and yet still fall short of our understanding of and treatment for this shapeshifting disease. Mark Lintern’s observations add another piece to the puzzle, taking us another step closer to characterizing this as a disease of the terrain versus of the genetics and helps us change course to a more hopeful future in cancer care and prevention.” Dr Nasha Winter ND FABNO

The event is for cancer specialists only and will be free to attend. Places are limited and can be obtained by application. These applications will be screened to ensure the audience is made up entirely of cancer specialists, for example:

• Oncologists

• Integrative doctors

• Oncology nutritionists

• Specialist exercise trainers

• Other specialised lifestyle practitioners

• Functional Medicine practitioners specialising in cancer

• Cancer scientists and researchers

• Science writers

This highly specialised audience will also be able to participate in questioning and registering their level of confidence in the soundness of the ideas being presented.
This is a moment not to be missed! The event will be held online on Sunday 12th February 2023 from 15:00 GMT (10:00 EST, 07:00 PST, 16:00 CET) until 20:00 GMT (15:00 EST, 12:00 PST, 21:00 CET)

To apply for a ticket, simply click the link below and tell us about yourself and why you want to attend. As mentioned above, places are limited and we are also screening for the most relevant audience – so please be aware that you may not be successful in securing a place. But we will respond to all applications, so you will know one way or the other.

Apply for your free place at the event >

Advances in cancer detection and treatment have resulted in a steady increase in the number of people surviving cancer in the UK. By 2040, more than five million people may be living with acute, chronic or late-appearing consequences of cancer and its treatments. There is a high prevalence of unmet rehabilitation needs in the cancer population, yet many of these side effects, e.g. pain, fatigue, limited range of movement, lymphoedema and peripheral neuropathy, can be effectively treated with physiotherapy. The development of skilled rehabilitation physiotherapists in private practice is essential for providing high-quality cancer rehabilitation.

Professor Campbell was invited to write an article for InTouch, the magazine for members of Physio First. Physio First is a specialist professional network, representing self-employed physiotherapists working in the independent sector.

The article, titled “Working with cancer patients during prehabilitation, rehabilitation and with specific cancer treatment related side effects” can be downloaded below.

If you are interested in joining Physio First, you can find out more on their website, or through visiting their social media profiles detailed below.

  • FaceBook @physioFirstUK
  • Twitter @physiofirstc 
  • Insta @physiofirstorg