AML: A better understanding of leukaemia stem cells The survival rate of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is poor, and more research is urgently needed to improve the prognosis for AML patients. It is now accepted that there are rare cells within the cancer called leukaemia stem cells that are responsible for the progression of AML within the body. Dr Huang's team has already identified a group of proteins including EPC1 and EPC2, which are required for leukaemia stem cells to function, but are much less important to normal, healthy blood cells. The team's research now aims to further understand these critical proteins and identify how leukaemia stem cells interact with other proteins to keep the leukaemia cells functioning. They hope to better understand just how essential these molecules are to the growth of AML. Their research will provide a better understanding of the behaviour of leukaemia stem cells and form the basis for developing innovative new drugs for use in future AML cancer treatment.