Investigating acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)
- Researcher: Professor Paolo Salomoni
- Institution: University College London
- Award Amount: £210,946 for 3 years from September 2013
- Cancer Type: Leukaemia
Every cell in our body contains thousands of genes that control most of the activities in the cell. In some cancers, including leukaemia, one gene can become fused or ‘glued’ to the end of another one, creating a hybrid gene. Professor Salomoni will be looking at one of these hybrid genes and a molecule called DAXX and their role in causing APL. DAXX has been implicated in other human cancers, such as tumours of the pancreas and brain, and works by modifying the way the DNA is packed in the cell. APL is one of the success stories of cancer therapy, with the majority of people with APL now surviving the disease. However, by better understanding how APL develops, in the future, scientists can then take this information and try to find ways to stop it from occurring or detect it earlier or to better treat it. Furthermore, this information will potentially provide new clues on how to treat other cancers characterized by similar disease mechanisms.
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