University Researchers Investigate Why AML Can Reoccur

McMaster University researchers investigating the factors underlying patient relapse in acute myeloid leukaemia believe that they may have found a type of cell that plays an important role. The researchers call this cell type ‘cancer regenerating cells’. For more detailed information you can view the source press release here, at McMaster University website. Alternatively, you can view the study published in the journal Cancer Cell by clicking here.

About Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a form of cancer. Leukaemia is a cancer of the white blood cells and acute means that it is an aggressive form of cancer. The cancer is myeloid because it affects a type of white blood cell called a myeloid cell, which is involved in various systems, including fighting bacterial infections and parasites, and preventing tissue damage from spreading. Treatment of AML can be successful, but there is a significant risk that the condition will return (relapse).

What the Researchers Found

Researchers studying the reasons for relapse in mouse models have identified ‘cancer regenerating cells’ that they believe may play an important role in the re-occurrence of AML.

According to the news article by McMaster University, the researchers found that leukaemia cells can change as a result of chemotherapy, allowing them to go undetected and, eventually, cause a relapse.

Scientists working on the study are hopeful that their results could be used as the basis for new treatments, highlighting that one of the key challenges researchers in this area face is finding a common target for therapies that is the same for the majority of patients. Allison Boyd, a co-author of the study, says, “These regenerative cells provide that similarity.”

For more information about this study, you can view the original article here.

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