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Understanding changes in AML stem cells

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a fast growing and aggressive type of blood cancer. Professor Bonifer and her team want to learn more about alterations in genes of AML cells to find new ways to treat it.

Professor Bonifer stood smiling.

Professor Bonifer


The challenge

AML happens when your body doesn’t produce enough healthy blood cells. It is an aggressive type of blood cancer. It’s thought that something goes wrong in the instruction manual of blood stem cells, which causes them to grow and divide uncontrollably.

The project

This project will build on many years of support from Blood Cancer UK. This research will focus on a specific alteration in AML that Professor Bonifer and her team have spent years studying. In most cases, it’s not just one alteration that causes cancer, but a cascade of alterations that can cause disease. In this research, the team hope to understand this cascade in more detail, to precisely understand which alterations cause the excessive growth of cancerous cells. They will then look to see how they might be able to reverse this.

The future

The hope is that in the future, this research will feed into developing more targeted treatments for people with AML that don’t include chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant. This will hopefully improve the survival rates for people with this disease.