Leukaemia is a type of blood cancer that usually affects white blood cells and bone marrow. White blood cells are an important part of your immune system that fight infection, and bone marrow is where blood cells like these are made.
There are many different types of leukaemia. Some types develop faster, and are known as acute leukaemia.
Other leukaemias develop more slowly and are called chronic leukaemias. These include chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML), hairy cell leukaemia (HCL) and large granulocytic leukaemia (LGLL).
But each type of leukaemia acts differently, and will need to be treated differently.
Survival rates for people diagnosed with CML have been transformed with the development of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) – drugs that block the faulty protein at the heart of CML and keep the leukaemia in check.
Most people living with this blood cancer can now take a single pill and control their disease. But they aren’t cured, and some people can’t tolerate the side effects of their treatment, or become resistant to it, or find that their CML has come back.
Our research is looking at new ways to eradicate CML completely, offering the chance of a real cure. And we want to find ways to improve the quality of life of people with CML who are taking these drugs.