do some cancer patients go on to develop leukaemia after receiving certain types
of treatment? This is the question that researchers at the University of
Leicester are looking to answer after receiving a grant of £100,000 from the
UK’s leading blood cancer charity, Leukaemia Research Fund (LRF).
research team – led by Dr Mark Plumb from the Department of Genetics – is
searching for the genetic changes that cause patients to develop what is known
as secondary leukaemia, and to identify why some people are more prone to this
believes that the susceptibility is genetically determined. “We think that
some genes – called tumour suppressor genes – which should protect patients
from developing leukaemia, are switched off or are missing in patients with
secondary leukaemia,” he says.
task for Dr Plumb and his team is to determine precisely which genes play a
critical role in the development of this disease.
Director of the Leukaemia Research Fund, Dr David Grant, welcomes the new
research: “Secondary leukaemia is a very difficult form of blood cancer for
doctors to treat. It is crucial that we find out why people develop this disease
so we can find a way of preventing it.”
university’s Department of Genetics was recently awarded the very top rating
of 5* in the Research Assesment Exercise, the only genetics department in the
country to receive this rating.
Research Fund is the only national UK charity devoted exclusively to improving
treatments, finding cures and learning how to prevent leukaemia, Hodgkin’s
disease and other lymphomas, myeloma and the related blood disorders, diagnosed
in 21,500 people in Britain every year. Further
information, including patient booklets, is available from:
Your nearest LRF voluntary fundraising branch (see Yellow Pages)
LRF, 43 Great Ormond Street, London, WC1N 3JJ tel: 020 7269 9068; email:
further information, please contact Andrew Miller on 020 7269 9019 or 07968
to editors: There
is normally a substantial time lag between patients being treated for cancer and
developing secondary leukaemia. Amongst those at risk from developing secondary
leukaemia are certain patients with Hodgkin’s disease and lung, breast and
ovarian cancer. While certain patients may be at risk, without treatment they
would not survive their disease.
|Dr Mark Plumb|
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.
If you are an authorised user you may edit this document through your Web browser.