Current research into leukaemia
For the past 120 years, we’ve been making discoveries that have saved countless lives. But we have so much more to do. Our strategy sets out how we'll accelerate progress towards a better future.
Saving lives through our research
We’re tackling all types of leukaemia, from understanding the genetics of leukaemia cells and how this changes over time, to leading clinical trials of new treatments. Below are some examples of what our researchers are doing right now.
Our current researchers
New treatments and early detection
Professor George Vassiliou, Cancer Research UK senior clinical fellow at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, and his team are identifying new treatment targets and translating their findings into new treatments for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). In parallel, they have discovered that many people at risk of developing AML can be identified years in advance, and are developing ways to identify those at risk with the aim of preventing progression to AML in the future.
Understanding leukaemia in infants
Professor Katrin Ottersbach at the University of Edinburgh is looking into the biology of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and how it develops in infants from pre-birth. This type of blood cancer is rare and affects children who are less than 1. She hopes this work will lead to the discovery of new early detection markers and targets for treatment for this type of cancer
Developing new treatments
Professor Peter Hillmen in Leeds is leading a clinical trial testing a new treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), the most common type of blood cancer. The aim is to test if a new targeted drug works as well as the chemotherapy currently used to treat CLL, but with far fewer side effects.
Finding new therapeutic targets
At the Barts Cancer Institute in London, Dr Diu Nguyen is investigating a new therapeutic target in leukaemic stem cells, the cells that propagate acute myeloid leukaemia. This new target could allow the development of drugs that selectively kill cancerous stem cells without killing normal blood stem cells, leading to better leukaemia treatment.