SCIENTISTS from the University of Oxford have been granted £1.4m to develop a new generation of blood cancer drugs.

Charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is handing over the money to the team which developed new technology to interfere with malfunctioning proteins inside cells.

Prof Terry Rabbitts, head of the scientists at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital-based Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, said: “A new generation of targeted drugs could use this technology to prevent blood cancer cells from functioning.”

Prof Chris Bunce, research director at Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, said: “More effective drugs could be developed for a whole range of blood cancers in the future.”

Louise Cooper, 50, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2010.

She said: “If they can find ways that make the treatment less arduous and more targeted then that’s great news.”

Mrs Cooper, of Abingdon Road, Oxford, will walk 60km across Jordan, in the Middle East, later this month to raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Centre along with 100 other fundraisers. Around 30,000 people of all ages, from infants to adults, are diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma in the UK each year.