11 Jan 2019 Research

Leukaemia: Investigating stem cells to prevent cancer

What is this research looking at?

The development of effective treatments to prevent and eradicate leukaemia requires a better understanding of the mechanisms behind malignant (harmful) transformation and disease persistence during therapy.

Importantly, leukaemia development is associated with the acquisition of abnormal metabolic features, making cancer metabolism an attractive target for new therapeutic strategies.

Metabolism is closely associated to cell functions in normal and abnormal (malignant) tissues. By measuring metabolic heterogeneity in normal tissue (haemopoietic stem cells) and in cancer (leukaemia), I will determine whether distinct cell metabolic states are functionally connected to their potential for malignant transformation and therapy resistance.

I will test if malignant transformation and therapy resistance can be prevented or attenuated by targeting their metabolic dependencies. Results from the proposed research may lead to the development of new strategies for leukaemia eradication and prevention.

What could this mean for people with leukaemia?

This project investigates the metabolic features of stem cells in a bid to find out how to prevent them turning cancerous and to reduce resistance to treatment – this may lead to the development of new strategies for leukaemia eradication and prevention.

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