11 Jan 2019 Research

Myelofibrosis: Finding new ways to treat patients

Myelofibrosis is a fatal bone marrow cancer. The disease is caused by excessive secretion of factors by cancerous platelet-producing cells called megakaryocytes. These secretions cause the replacement of normal bone marrow tissue with fibrous scar tissue.

Dr Chen’s team can successfully recreate this pathological bone marrow environment in the laboratory, and their preliminary research data shows that reduced levels of a protein complex called FANCcore leads to more myelofibrosis.

Dr Chen’s team hypothesise that loss of the protein complex FANCcore increases the growth of myelfibrosis by altering megakaryocytes. Dr Chen uses both human tissue cultures and mouse models to examine the cellular and molecular changes to megakaryocytes following the absence of the FANCcore complex and to understand how these changes cause myelofibrosis.

The team hopes that by focusing on the role of FANCcore in megakaryocyte biology, they can reveal new ways to treat myelofibrosis.

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