A new treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the most common and deadly type of adult leukaemia, with a survival rate of 15% for patients diagnosed over the age of 60. AML is a disease of the blood system arising from genetic alterations that lead to the accumulation of immature white blood cells in the bone marrow. These mutant cells suppress the normal function of the blood system and infiltrate other organs and tissues. Most patients die due to leukaemia recurrence (or relapse), which is normally difficult to treat as the recurrent cells are resistant to commonly used drugs. The researchers have a number of new pharmacological compounds that can kill AML cells and have discovered a protein which may be a target for these new drugs. Understanding how this protein works to kill leukaemia cells may lead to new treatments for acute myeloid leukaemia.

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