Thomas Preston
Posted by
Thomas Preston

Personalising treatments for patients

Thomas Preston
Posted by
Thomas Preston
08 Apr 2010

Saving the lives of mother with leukaemia and unborn twins

Our scientists, for the first time, personalised treatments for adults with leukaemia using a test that accurately predicts relapse. The minimal residual disease (MRD) test enabled doctors to guide treatment for adults with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), a particularly aggressive form of leukaemia.

Thanks to the MRD test, Vanessa Love, who was diagnosed with APL while pregnant with twins, was spared intensive chemotherapy until after the birth of her twin sons.

Cell banks and databases

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research have established cell banks and databases which play a vital role in developing and delivering personalised treatments to every patient with a blood cancer in the UK.

The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Cytogenetics Database, which was established 10 years ago, stores genetic information from over 25,000 adults and children with acute leukaemia in the UK, and is the largest of its kind in the world. Our scientists use this resource to identify patients with specific genetic abnormalities that mean they are unlikely to respond conventional treatments. This enables doctors to offer alternative treatments to these patients, early on.

Research reveals secret of successful cancer drug

Our researchers have revealed, for the first time, the unique way in which monoclonal antibody therapies kill cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies are a relatively new, non-toxic treatment that target cancer cells more directly, avoiding some of the side effects of conventional chemotherapy. They were introduced to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma around 10 years ago, and have proven to be very successful. Now scientists want to use these drugs to treat patients with other blood cancers.