British researchers found a way to destroy stem cells that sustain the potentially fatal blood cancer, in an early study on mice.
The team from King’s College London, funded by Cancer Research UK, learned that suppressing two particular proteins stops the leukaemia stem cells growing.
This could pave the way for better treatment that may enable patients to be in "complete remission". Prof Peter Johnson, the leading charity’s chief clinician, said: “This study builds on previous Cancer Research UK-funded work trying to pinpoint the molecules responsible for driving the development of MLL-related leukaemia stem cells. “Cancer stem cells appear to be more resistant to radiotherapy and chemotherapy than the other leukaemia cells, so understanding how they originate – and how we can kill them – will be a major step in being able to help even more people survive leukaemia in future.”
As many as 28,500 people are diagnosed with leukaemia in Britain every year and about 70 per cent of children and 10 per cent of adults have a type that involves mutations of the MLL gene. Only half of these children survive for two years after receiving standard treatment
To read this story in full click HERE to visit the Telegraph website.