Discovery could lead to new leukaemia treatments

Nov 06, 2006

Deakin University scientists have identified a protein that could hold the key to new leukaemia treatments.

The protein--Stat5--was investigated at a laboratory at Deakin's Melbourne Campus at Burwood, as part of a multicentre international collaboration.

Leukaemia is a cancer caused by a proliferation of white blood cells. To understand and help prevent the disease, the Deakin researchers are looking for the responsible genes.

Head of the Deakin team, Associate Professor Alister Ward, said the discovery of how the protein acts provides a breakthrough in understanding the onset of leukaemia.

"We have found that Stat5 is responsible for making white blood cells overgrow in a particular disease setting that often precedes leukaemia," Associate Professor Ward explained.

"On top of this, we have also found that Stat5, when activated, is sufficient on its own to cause white blood cells to overgrow inside a whole organism.

"Together, these findings identify Stat5 as a major player in the process of leukaemia progression and is therefore a worthwhile target for intervention."

Associate Professor Ward said the next step in this research was to utilise the model systems established to develop new therapeutics.

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: New compounds protect nervous system from the structural damage of MS

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved

Feb 27, 2015

From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting ...

Neurons controlling appetite made from skin cells

Feb 27, 2015

Researchers have for the first time successfully converted adult human skin cells into neurons of the type that regulate appetite, providing a patient-specific model for studying the neurophysiology of weight ...

Quality control for adult stem cell treatment

Feb 27, 2015

A team of European researchers has devised a strategy to ensure that adult epidermal stem cells are safe before they are used as treatments for patients. The approach involves a clonal strategy where stem cells are collected ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.