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Major Discovery Raises Prospect of Better Patient Care By Improving,Platelet Life Span

let-related diseases."

Dr Kile added, "For fifty years doctors have speculated about what controls platelet life span. We now know the identity of the precise molecular switch responsible. The team is now actively pursuing a drug development program aimed at manipulating this switch in order to prolong the life span of blood bank platelets, increasing their availability to patients receiving cancer treatment and others in danger of serious bleeding".

At the opposite end of the scale, shortening platelet life span may be useful in the treatment of other diseases. For instance, too many platelets can trigger dangerous blood clots leading to strokes or heart attacks. Reducing platelet life span may therefore prove valuable in the prevention and management of these life-threatening conditions.

Refer to the illustration which can be viewed at http://www.asianetnews.net

The scientific research was generously funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); the State Government of Victoria (DIIRD); the Australian Research Council (ARC); the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF); the Cancer Council of Victoria (CCV); the National Cancer Institute (US); the US-based Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org); and MuriGen Pty Ltd (www.murigen.com.au), a company based at the WEHI Biotechnology Centre in Bundoora, Victoria.

The scientific teams, headed by Dr Kile and Dr Huang and based at WEHI, include: Dr Kylie Mason, Dr Marina Carpinelli, Dr Jamie Fletcher, Dr Janelle Collinge, Ms Adrienne Hilton, Ms Sarah Ellis (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre), Ms Priscilla Kelly, Dr Paul Ekert (Children's Cancer Centre, Royal Children's Hospital), Professor Donald Metcalf and Dr Andrew Roberts.

The findings of the scientific team are published in
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