A ground-breaking study by SAHMRI with the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Personalized Cancer Medicine has shown that real hope exists to reduce the risks to patients that are commonly associated with the treatment of leukaemia
Director of cancer research at SAHMRI, Professor Deborah White, said the breakthrough discovery was “paradigm-shifting”.
“Our findings are not just applicable to chronic myeloid leukaemia therapy, but to all targeted cancer treatments,” she said.
“In our research, we’re looking for methods that will result in the cancer cell killing itself. This would provide an improved treatment and reduce the risk of cancer relapse.
“With this treatment, during a short exposure to therapy, the cancer cells say ‘this is all too hard, we are just going to die’.”
SAHMTI’s success supports its value said White, “This absolutely shows the value of SAHMRI with its facilities enabling us to do this sort of work and also the collaborative strength,” she said “We are also very conscious of moving research from bench to bedside quickly.”
The new treatment which involves blocking the protein with a combination of short sessions of intense therapy which, the research has found, seems to influence the cancer cells to kill themselves. This kind of therapy has fever debilitating side-affects normally associated with the treatment of cancers like Leukaemia.
“Our research has found that by blocking STAT 5 in conjunction with exposure to a regular anti-cancer treatment, we were able to more effectively target the leukaemia cells.
“We now also better understand the timing required for the combined treatment to be effective,” said Professor White.
The results have been published in the journal Leukaemia.