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Striving for a cancer-free future

Understanding how new therapies target blood cancer

Lead researcher

A/Prof Daniel Gray, Prof David Huang, Prof Andrew Roberts, Prof Terence Speed

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Tumour type:

Years funded

What is the project?

We propose to use a new technology, mass cytometry, to determine how cancer cells respond to treatment with new therapies being used in clinical trials. Our expertise in this technology and access to patient samples gives us the edge to provide new insights into how cancers become resistant to treatment so we might better target them for eradication.

What is the need?

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is the most common blood cancer in Australia. New therapies that target essential pathways in CLL, such as receptor signalling or cell survival are having an impact, yet resistance to these drugs remain major challenges. There is a need to better understand how targeted therapies can be used in combination and how their effectiveness is influenced so they can be directed to those patients most likely to benefit.

What are you trying to achieve?

We seek to combine breakthrough new technologies, unique clinical resources and clever ideas to provide new insights into cancer development and treatment. We expect to discover the sensitivity profiles of CLL cell sub-populations to combination targeted therapies and associations with relapse. Our findings will inform new ways to better treat this disease, and provide a new paradigm in research into blood and solid cancers.

Funding Body

Cancer Council Victoria Research Grant