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Do bacterial infections make MDS and AML worse?

Some people with blood cancer can develop severe and sometimes life-threatening infections. Professor Bunce is investigating whether these infections make the cancer worse, and whether we can stop this from happening.

The challenge

People with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) can develop severe and sometimes life-threatening infections as a consequence of having an immune system that has been weakened by their disease, or from treatments they receive.

The project

Professor Chris Bunce and his team at the University of Birmingham are investigating whether these infections are making the cancer worse as they think they may be causing resistance to cancer drugs and helping the cancer progress.

The future

If Professor Bunce does show that infections can fuel the growth of cancers and there are drugs that can stop this from happening, this could change how AML and MDS are treated and managed, giving everyone the best possible chance of survival.