Navigation Links
Scientists discover cells critical to childhood leukemia

Scientists at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne in Australia have discovered the cells that cause a common type of childhood leukaemia T cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (T-ALL). Targeting of these cells may lead to improved treatments for this disease and help prevent relapse.

The team, led by Dr Matthew McCormack and Dr David Curtis of the Rotary Bone Marrow Research Laboratories and the University's Department of Medicine at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, made the discovery whilst studying mice prone to developing this leukaemia.

The results have been published online today by the prestigious international journal Science.

The team found that with irradiation treatment in animal models, over 99 per cent of cells in the thymus were killed, but these stem cell-like cells persisted and rapidly recovered. This suggests that these cells may survive therapy and be responsible for relapsed disease following treatment.

Currently, children with T-ALL are given extended therapy over two to three years in an attempt to stop a relapse. More targeted therapy on the thymus cells could reduce the length and toxicity of treatment and prevent relapse.

Dr McCormack, a leading international expert on childhood leukaemia, said: "The cellular origins of this leukaemia are not well understood. Our discovery that these cells are similar to normal stem cells explains why they are capable of surviving for long periods. It also explains why they are remarkably resistant to treatment."

Approximately 50 new cases of T-ALL are diagnosed every year in Australia, two thirds of these in children or adolescents. Adults also contract T-ALL, and the majority succumb to resistant or relapsed disease.

Dr Curtis, a Clinical Haematologist and head of the Leukaemia Research Program at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, said: "The identification of these cells provides an important target for the development and testing of new treatments for patients with T cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia."

The team will now focus on novel treatments capable of killing these cells, which may lead to clinical trials within the next five years.


Contact: Rebecca Scott
University of Melbourne

Related medicine news :

1. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
2. Scientists Probe Sepsis Deadly Secrets
3. Scientists puzzled by severe allergic reaction to cancer drug in the middle Southern US
4. Scientists Develop Natural Protection for Stored Foods
5. Scientists detect presence of marburg virus in african fruit bats
6. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
7. Scientists ID Likely Culprit in Popcorn Lung
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
10. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
11. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... Tempe Dental Care, a leading Tempe dentists’ office, celebrates offering gentle, ... for more than 5 years. A leading cause of emergency room visits, school ... is not timely. , Sedation dentistry provides an anxiety-free dental experience ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... ... Local Gold’s Gym franchise owner, Bryce Berry, received the Visionary of the ... and operates Gold's Gym Cheyenne in Cheyenne, Wyoming, received the award in ... A brand leader in global fitness, Gold’s Gyms are located worldwide. Every fitness center ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... Dr. Bill Saye as the newest professional to introduce the latest development, ThermiVa® ... highly recognized as a leading professional in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a pioneer ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In an ongoing effort to provide the ... Texas, child development and pediatric therapy center, is working with TRICARE to emphasize ... options for receiving this kind of care for affected children. Because of concerns ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Just under three months ago, ... began a $1 promotion – effectively offering all of their services for just a ... the company was flooded with phone calls from interested buyers. As a genuine one-stop-shop ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015 China Jo-Jo ... " China Jo-Jo "), a leading China-based retail, wholesale ... through its own online and retail pharmacies, announced preliminary ... official branded online pharmacy through , growing ... a record 25%. China Jo-Jo,s ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Oct. 13, 2015  Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE ... UK-based Cell Therapy Catapult to advance development of ... dendritic cell immunotherapy. Under the agreement, the Cell ... for AST-VAC2 to support advanced clinical trials and ... --> The Cell Therapy Catapult ...
(Date:10/12/2015)...  Former White House Spokesman, and Drug Czar Public Affair ... Committee, Robert Weiner , and Policy Analyst Daniel ... that this is now a potential bipartisan campaign and debate ... , Carly Fiorina to Rand Paul ... which they call "a shocker: 23 million need but do ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: