Health Australia’s breakthrough leukaemia treatment

Australia’s breakthrough leukaemia treatment

An Australian team is pumped after discovering a new treatment idea for one of the most aggressive types of blood cancer: Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, or AML.

AML develops when cells in the bone marrow change their cell communication processes, which is known as cell signalling.

At the moment, only about a quarter of AML patients survive five years past their diagnosis.

But a team led by The University of Newcastle researchers decided to apply sophisticated and innovative technologies to survey all of the potential treatments for AML simultaneously.

They found that they could use chemical compounds to block the messaging of two key genes so as to treat the disease.

The study was co-led by the University of Newcastle’s Associate Professor Nikki Verrills, who said the new discovery was made possible by the university’s technological prowess.

“We have established an advanced mass spectrometry proteomics platform at the University of Newcastle, which allows us to quantify the cell signalling processes that are active in any biological sample,” Associate Professor Verrills said.

Co-lead author Dr Matt Dun said the technique could lead to better outcomes for patients.

“This platform provides us with the tools to look beyond genomics, to identify treatment strategies that have long been invisible to clinical teams, exposing the trojan horse if you will, with the aim of improving treatment and outcomes for the 1,000 or so Australian patients diagnosed with AML every year,” Dr Dun said.

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