Professor Richard Lock
The leukaemia most commonly diagnosed in children is acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). A less prevalent form of leukaemia in children (but the most common in adults and adolescents) is acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML is, in general, much less curable than ALL, with a long-term survival rate of less than 50%. Consequently, new treatment options for AML are needed.
We have been working on developing new experimental models of AML subtypes that can be used to evaluate novel therapies for this disease, and have begun testing a number of promising new arsenical-based anticancer drugs.
Having established our model, we are now using it to test a newly developed AML antibody for its effects on the disease. This forms the basis of a new therapy that, if successful, could be more effective than conventional chemotherapy as well as far less toxic. Our studies to date have shown the antibody to be highly effective against newly developed AML and its therapy is now being tested in clinical trials.