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21 February 2017

The NHS in England is set to reverse a ban on second stem cell treatments for patients with relapsed blood cancers, it was announced yesterday.

The news came as campaigners stepped up pressure for the lifting of the ban.

The charity Anthony Nolan claimed opinion poll support for its campaign.

It said yesterday it would continue to collect signatures on a petition until the NHS allows second stem cell transplants.

The poll found that 66% of people backed giving second stem cell transplants to patients who relapse. And just 11% said the government was doing 'enough'.

NHS England had said it would announce a decision in May - but yesterday it said it was 'confident' it would release funding for the treatment.

Charity chief executive Henny Braund said: 'It is unacceptable that, despite evidence showing a second transplant is a cure for one in three people, patients are being abandoned against the recommendation, and best efforts, of their doctors.

'The Health Secretary (Jeremy Hunt) must take action for people with blood cancer and blood disorders by raising this issue with NHS England. We ask that Mr Hunt meets patients and families affected, and take this issue up on their behalf with decision-makers at NHS England.'


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