Two QIMR scientists researching blood cancers have welcomed new project funding from the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland.
Dr Steven Lane, from QIMR’s Translational Leukaemia Research Laboratory, has received $100,000 to investigate a promising new potential therapy for leukaemia.
“I am extremely grateful to the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland for supporting our research and also for their ongoing support of patients suffering from these devastating diseases,” Dr Lane said.
“The Foundation has been critical to establishing our research program and generating some really exciting results that we hope can be developed into new treatments for leukaemia.”
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is an aggressive and rapidly fatal blood cancer that affects about 1000 Australians every year. Despite chemotherapy, the cancer usually returns.
Dr Lane’s team believes leukaemia stem cells may be to blame for relapses. He’s found that leukaemia stem cells need to protect their genetic material (DNA), so if the DNA can be damaged, then the stem cells can be destroyed.
“This grant will allow us to understand how these cancerous cells deal with damage to their DNA and to validate our findings in human acute myeloid leukaemia,” Dr Lane said.
The Leukaemia Foundation has also provided a $40,000 three-year PhD scholarship for Therese Vu.
Ms Vu is investigating factors which may cause genetic changes in leukaemia.
“The Leukaemia Foundation has been instrumental in supporting junior researchers investigating blood diseases, by providing these PhD scholarships” Ms Vu said.
“This funding has played a huge role in getting this project off the ground.”