Monitoring the progression of aggressive blood cancers and finding new ways to stop them
Dr Andrejs Braun is studying a protein that he thinks may help to predict how aggressive certain types of blood cancer will be. They want to understand how and why this protein can influence the outcome of blood cancer.
White blood cells make proteins called antibodies that help the body fight infection. In order to produce lots of different types of antibodies, white blood cells can reshuffle their DNA in a process called ‘programmed mutation’. However, sometimes this process can go wrong, leading to blood cancer or other diseases.
Dr Andrejs Braun and his team have previously found that levels of a protein called Lamin B1 drop during programmed mutation. Levels of the protein are also lower than normal in people with blood cancer, especially those who have aggressive and hard to treat disease. The team now want to explore exactly how and why Lamin B1 can influence the outcome of blood cancer.
If successful, this project could help to predict how aggressive certain types of blood cancer will be, by measuring the levels of Lamin B1. This could be particularly helpful for people with follicular lymphoma – a slow growing blood cancer that can turn into a highly aggressive and hard to treat form of lymphoma. The findings from this project could also lead to the development of drugs that attack blood cancers in a completely new way.