World Health Day 2023 April 7th is World Health Day, and this year observes 75 years of this event. The World Health Organization are celebrating the occasion by looking back at public health successes that have improved quality of life during the past seven decades. Health successes of the past decades would not have been possible without WHO’s focus on commitment to science and innovation. 1972 – WHO established the Special Programme of Research and Training in Human Reproduction. 1975 – WHO founded and started hosting the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. 2019 – WHO established a new Science Division working across public health areas. 2021 – WHO launched a Science Council, a consultative body involving top scientists in the world, to provide advice about emerging, high-priority scientific issues and technologies that could directly impact or advance global health. Visit the website to read more about World Health Day 2023. Perth Blood Institute (PBI) PBI is also celebrating an anniversary this year – 10 years. We thought it would be fitting to follow World Health Day’s theme and reflect on our accomplishments and contributions to health and wellbeing. PBI is involved in clinical trials and works with our research team at Murdoch University related to all aspects of blood disorders. We are committed to providing the highest level of care for our patients; to broaden access to safe and effective treatment options; and uncovering life-changing therapies for people living with rare blood disorders. Research Murdoch University PhD student Munik Tian was selected to publish her research in the international peer-reviewed journal ‘Thrombosis and Haemostasis’. Munik and her colleagues investigated the mechanism behind the elevated risk of developing venous thromboembolism among women (primarily during pregnancy and women using oral contraceptives). PBI’s research division is leading the way into thrombotic studies for TTP and the specific gene at the centre of the condition. This cutting-edge research being undertaken by PBI has standardised a method for testing to help detect this gene faster and apply the appropriate treatment. This has led to a proposal for further research on the disease and develop a global laboratory standard. Visit the PBI website to read more. Phase I results were presented at the 2022 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Congress. Helping people with rare diseases Samantha was diagnosed with a rare condition called Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) where the blood clots in small vessels in the body which can stop oxygen flowing to essential organs. Samantha felt quite isolated as there wasn’t anyone to speak with who experienced the same symptoms and perhaps faced similar fears. After discovering PBI, Samantha was comforted by the fact that PBI provided a forum where she could talk to people with lived experiences of the disease; and now she doesn’t feel alone anymore. Click HERE to read Sam’s story. PBI clinical trials The PBI clinical trials team played an instrumental role in the publication of findings for an important multicentre, open-label, randomised phase 3 trial for relapsed multiple myeloma. The results of the study were published in the highly prestigious peer-reviewed journal, The Lancet. This is an outstanding achievement for the team and is extremely noteworthy as multiple myeloma is the second most common haematological malignancy in high-income countries. Click HERE to read more. PBI’s clinical trial’s unit was part of the team to successfully find a treatment to prolong progression free survival in patients with relapsed indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma; published in Lancet Oncology. Click HERE for more information. In 2017, PBI participated in a clinical trial to test a new and novel investigational agent designed to mimic (instead of replace) the missing function of Factor VIII in patients with Haemophilia A. This agent has gone on to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia. PBI clinical trial success stories Andew was diagnosed with myelofibrosis (a rare form of bone marrow cancer) in 2021 by one of PBI’s clinical investigators and was eligible for a PBI clinical trial investigating new bone marrow cancer drugs. Currently, Andrew is well and continues to lead an active and healthy life. Giovanni was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (a rare form of blood and bone marrow cancer) and participated in a PBI clinical trial. After being given the ‘all clear’ Giovanni took his wife on an amazing caravan adventure. Gemma was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2010. After participating in three different clinical trials with PBI, she is now in remission and is able to live a healthy lifestyle with her family. John has haemophilia A and participated in a PBI clinical trial. As a result, John enjoys a more normal lifestyle, including the confidence to be more active and engage in activities he never previously pursued. The success of the trial and new treatment has definitely changed John’s life - and not just his but for his family as well.