The main types of blood cancers are:
- leukaemia (US spelling: leukemia) — a cancer of the blood and bone marrow
- lymphoma — a cancer of the lymphatic system
- myeloma — a cancer that develops from plasma cells (this is extremely rare in children).
In the Blood Cancers Theme, we research the most commonly diagnosed blood cancers in children: acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Our aim is to increase cure rates for blood cancer in children to 100% while also reducing the short- and long-term side effects associated with current treatments, thereby improving quality of life for survivors. Our research has a strong translational focus: to identify new leukaemia-specific targets, develop novel targeted drugs, and move these drugs as quickly as possible from bench to bedside.
We investigate several aspects of leukaemia biology and treatment, interrogating the mechanisms that contribute to leukaemia initiation, progression, relapse and drug resistance. We use multiple, diverse pre-clinical models of leukaemia to test promising drugs. In the clinic, we monitor at the molecular level the treatment responses of children with leukaemia to help guide clinicians in their treatment decisions.
Cancer and Stem Cell Biology
We study how normal stem cells are transformed into cancer stem cells and develop effective stem cell-targeted therapies.
Functional Genomics of Leukaemia
Our goal is to understand the development and progression of leukaemia, which in turn will help us design targeted therapies.
Our goal is to better understand cancer biology and improve the treatment of children with leukaemia through developing new therapies.