Childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (Ch-AML)

Childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (Ch-AML)

There are a number of different types of leukaemia that affect people during childhood and early adulthood. ‘Childhood’ leukaemia is the term commonly used to describe leukaemias that are most common in younger children. However, these types of leukaemia are also diagnosed in teenagers and young adults. Although we know that teenagers and young adults have needs that are different from those of young children, the medical treatment they receive is often the same, and it is important that they are included in research to improve care for these conditions. 

In the UK we normally expect to see just over 400 cases of leukaemia diagnosed each year in children under 14 years old. About 85% of these are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and most of the rest are acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). 

Our childhood AML research is looking into why some children with Down’s Syndrome are more prone to developing AML, and what we can do to prevent this from happening. We also have a programme of research focussing on childhood ALL, to find out more click here.


Preventing AML from happening in children with Down’s Syndrome

Children with Down’s Syndrome are 150 times more likely than the general population to develop acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Up to 1 in 10 children with Down’s Syndrome develop a ‘pre-leukaemic condition’ called transient abnormal myelopoiesis (TAM) that can, in some cases, lead to later development of full-blown AML. We want to know why AML can develop in children with Down’s Syndrome, and find ways to stop this from happening.

Improving the diagnosis and management of blood problems in babies with Down’s Syndrome

Lead researcher - Professor Paresh Vyas and Professor Irene Roberts, University of Oxford
Childhood leukaemia Childhood acute myeloid leukaemia (Ch-AML) Leukaemia
Down’s Syndrome associated preleukaemia and leukaemia
Professors Vyas and Roberts are working to find out how chromosome 21 affects blood cell production in the womb, and what genetic events are important for leukaemia to form. Researchers will use this information to develop treatment strategies, potentially preventing AML from even starting.

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