5 Decades of Clinical Trials Impact: Look at how far we’ve come!

 In News

It’s a very special year at the ALLG. Our collaborative success in clinical trials has laid the foundations for a brighter future for blood cancer patients for over 50 years. There’s a lot to celebrate as we look back on 5 Decades of Impact at our upcoming Scientific Meeting from 24-27 October 2023.

Dr Robert Weinkove welcoming members at the ALLG Scientific Meeting

Where it all began

The ALLG is the oldest collaborative, not-for-profit cancer clinical trial research group in Australia, established 50 years ago in May 1973 with a meeting of nine prominent members of the haematology community.

Fast forward fifty years and we have continued to make vital treatment breakthroughs, committed to our mission to provide better treatments and better lives for those with blood cancer.

Where we are at now

ALLG trials have contributed to what are now the best standard treatments in Australia and New Zealand in blood cancers.

In the last 12 months, alone, our member researchers have progressed over 60 trials and research projects at hospital sites across Australia and New Zealand.

From our humble beginnings to our 1200+ strong member base today, we’ve seen new treatments being adopted internationally.

Here are just some of the advancements in blood cancers over the last 50 years:

Acute Leukaemias

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

  • In 1989, only 35% of adults in their 20s diagnosed with ALL survived five years after diagnosis.
  • Today, this has increased to >80%.

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML)

  • In 1989, 15% of persons in their 40s and 50s diagnosed with AML survived five years after diagnosis.
  • 30 years later, this figure is >53%, a greater than threefold improvement.

Chronic Leukaemias

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

  • In 1989, less than half of persons over 80 years diagnosed with CLL survived for five years.
  • Three decades later, more than two thirds of this population survive beyond five years.

Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML)

  • In 1989, less than half of young adults in their 20s and 30s diagnosed with CML survived five years after diagnosis
  • Thirty years on, almost every one of these young adults will survive.


  • In 1989, 78% of all persons diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma survived five years after diagnosis. This survival rate is now more than 90% and for older adults it has risen from 46% to 70%.
  • Today, many patients with lymphoma are cured or have a near-normal life expectancy.


Treatment of patients with multiple myeloma has changed dramatically over the last 10 years in particular, with an unprecedented improvement in survival. For the first time, the term ‘cure’ is being discussed in myeloma circles.

  • In 1989, 28% of all persons diagnosed with myeloma survived five years after diagnosis.
  • Thirty years later, 57% of all persons diagnosed with myeloma survived five years after diagnosis.

Keen to read more about ALLG’s advancements and breakthroughs?

Visit our 5 Decades of Impact page to see more highlights of our 50 years.

50 Years of Scientific Meetings


Our ALLG members are looking forward to coming together at our biannual Scientific Meeting to generate new research ideas for blood cancer treatments and progress clinical trials for patients.

The improvement in survival rates for blood cancers are tremendous but the prognosis is still poor for many.

The ALLG continues to lead a robust and collaborative clinical research program across all blood cancers, to help accelerate the best science, evidence and effective outcomes in clinical trials and ultimately ensure better treatments and better lives for patients.

It’s events like our Scientific Meetings that allow this important progress to happen.

Thanks to all who have supported us over five decades of impact – and here’s to many more!