Mapping the future of cancer treatment
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) is one of the biggest killers of children in the Western world.
While ALL can be well-treated in a number of patients, there are some who fall into a 'high risk' category.
How can we identify who has high risk ALL?
Until now, the only way to identify who was a high risk patient was to wait until treatment failed. Genomic screening has completely altered the way we assess patients for their risk level.
Genomics in cancer research
High risk ALL refers to patients who are likely to not respond well to traditional ALL cancer treatment, or are more likely to relapse. Genomics gives researchers the opportunity to understand exactly what it is about these specific patients and their cancer that creates this higher risk.
Identifying genetic alterations in children with ALL means researchers can search for better, more targeted ways to treat these patients - using drugs already available for treating other types of cancer.
Professor White is affiliated with The University of Adelaide. SAHMRI’s Cancer Theme is supported with funding from the Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project.