Scientists make breakthrough leukaemia discovery

28 March 2011

Researchers have made a major breakthrough when it comes to understanding the causes of acute myeloid leukaemia.

Published in the journal Nature Genetics, the study shows that certain gene mutations are closely associated with the development of the condition, which affects both red and white blood cells - albeit in very different ways.

Dr George Vassiliou, consultant haematologist from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which conducted the new research programme into acute myeloid leukaemia, said his team had uncovered "critical steps that take place when the cancer develops. Identifying the biological steps in turn means we can look for new drugs to reverse the process".

He told the BBC that while developing drugs that could counter the condition would be a drawn-out process, potentially taking many decades, patients could be treated with better targeted, existing drugs.

Three types of mutation were discovered by the scientists that seem to dramatically increase the likelihood of leukaemia developing.

Recently, researchers from the UK uncovered 13 genes that appear to be closely associated with a patient's risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Posted by Philip Briggs


1 Samani, Nilesh et al. "Large-scale association analysis identifies 13 new susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease". Nature Genetics. Sunday, March 6th 2011.


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Cancer

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)