Blood Cancers

Research in the Blood Cancers theme aims to improve survival rates of children with leukaemia and improve quality of life for survivors.

Head of Theme

Overview

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).

Research Aims

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.

Our Approaches

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.

Research Groups

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