Dr Giulia Orlando, University of Oxford and Leukaemia UK John Goldman Fellow

Dr Giulia Orlando will be looking at the changes that RAS genes undergo in juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) to see whether there is the possibility for more targeted treatments to improve patient outcomes.

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) is a rare form of childhood cancer. No target treatment is currently available for this type of leukaemia, and the only curative option is bone marrow transplant. Even after transplant, 35% of patients relapse.

“Alterations in the RAS gene pathway are characteristic of most cancers, including haematological malignancies. Even though the role of RAS genes in cancer has been known for the last 30 years, a successful targeted treatment has not been developed yet.

During my John Goldman Fellowship I will study a rare form of childhood cancer, juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML), characterised by alterations in RAS genes within cells. No target treatment is currently available for this type of leukaemia, and the only curative option is bone marrow transplant. Even after transplant, 35% of patients relapse. By studying the molecular mechanisms behind RAS driven gene regulation, I hope that this research might lead to new targeted treatments being employed to improve patient outcome.”


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