Support The Ella Project today

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) is a rare head and neck cancer. Because it’s rare, there hasn’t been much research into it. This means the medical community still don’t know much about it.

Rare cancers like ACC are less funded than common cancers. This means it takes special people like The Christie’s supporters to help make research into ACC happen.

We are also in the unique position of having the UK’s leading specialist in ACC – Dr Rob Metcalf – based at The Christie. This means the world is now looking to The Christie for answers about how to successfully treat ACC.

Cancers like ACC are difficult to treat and this means ACC patients often have limited treatment options. This is why we’ve launched The Ella Project, a UK-wide study focused entirely on ACC. It’s named after Christie patient Ella, who tragically died with ACC in December 2021.

After Ella’s ACC diagnosis in March 2017, her whole life changed. From that point on, she was determined to make sure the next generation of ACC patients have more treatment options.

We’ve been able to launch the Ella project because of Ella’s incredible fundraising efforts and determination. And now, you can help us take the next crucial steps towards finding more effective drug treatments for ACC.

Any donations you can give for The Ella Project will make a huge difference. Your support can help us take the next crucial steps towards finding more effective drug treatments for ACC.

What we want to do for ACC research

With your help, we want to launch the next 3 phases of The Ella Project. These are ELLA01, ELLA02 and ELLA03, and you can read more about these below.

ELLA01 – examining DNA

ELLA01 will look changes in the genes of patients with ACC. From this, we will then identify similarities.

We have completed our focused analysis of 25 more common genetic changes across 125 ACC patient tumours. Donations to The Ella Project will enable us to increase this to all 25,000 genes in 225 patients.

ELLA02 – investigating immune cells

ELLA02 will investigate the characteristics of patients’ immune cells. We will see how these cells control the immune system and each patient’s response to cancer.

This will help us understand which patients will respond to immunotherapies. For patients who won’t respond to this drug therapy, we can then work out what treatments we need to develop to help them.

ELLA03 – studying living tumour samples

In ELLA03, we will compare fresh samples of patients’ tumours with those that we have stored in our biobank.

We will carry out the same investigations as in ELLA01 and ELLA02. But during ELLA03, we will receive a far richer, more detailed understanding of our patients’ DNA and immune systems.

Combined, ELLA 01, 02 and 03 will help us match groups of patients with specific drug therapies. Once we’ve done that, the next generation of trials of new personalised treatments will begin within the next 3 years.

But we can’t do this without your support.

Donations from generous Christie supporters like you will help us fund potential new treatments for rare cancers. In the future, we hope this means we’ll able to successfully treat every cancer equally.