Cracking the cancer code.
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is one of the most aggressive types of blood cancers - with just one in five patients surviving beyond five years of their diagnosis. For patients that don’t respond well to chemotherapy, the life-expectancy is just four months. Currently, we do not properly understand why some cancer therapies are unsuccessful, making it difficult for clinicians to administer the right treatment to each cancer patient.
Researchers from NTU's John van Geest Cancer Research Centre are tackling this. They’re investigating the use of a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer – a process known as immunotherapy – and conducting research into the genetic profile of tumours. Their aim is to identify new ways of targeting immune suppression caused by cancer and to repair the ability of the immune system to eliminate cancer cells, without the need for tissue-damaging chemotherapy.
Using advanced, cross-disciplinary technologies - and collaborating with pharmaceutical partners – our researchers have already identified the specific genes present in patients who have responded well to a new AML immunotherapy drug. These discoveries will help allocate therapies based on the genes of each individual patient, allowing clinicians to tailor treatments.
NTU is cracking the cancer code by developing novel cancer therapies for aggressive tumours, and sparing patients from unnecessary and dangerous treatments.
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Study paves way for faster, more accurate therapies for hard-to-treat leukaemia patients
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Professor Sergio Rutella, MD PhD, is a licensed haematologist and Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath). He is the current Director of the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre at Nottingham Trent University.
Dr Jayakumar Vadakekolathu is a Research Fellow in the John van Geest Cancer Research Centre (JvGRC).
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