Sussex Scientists Receive Grant for Blood Cancer Research
11:02am 8th April 2016
The £460,000 will be for two research projects that are helping to uncover how a number of common types of leukaemia and lymphoma arise in children and adults and find ways to treat them.
Around 1, 700 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma each year in the UK. Over 200 people, including 60 children, are diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma each year.
The Sussex researchers, led by Prof Michelle West, are studying how the common Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) can sometimes trigger the development of certain lymphomas. These include Burkitt and Hodgkin lymphomas and lymphomas that can develop in transplant patients.
Prof West said:
"We are investigating how the virus uses this long-range gene control to switch on lymphoma-driving genes and switch off the genes that would normally trigger cell death and prevent lymphoma development. We'll be testing existing drugs in the laboratory to see whether they can disrupt or reverse these changes."
Dr Matt Kaiser, Head of Research at blood cancer charity Bloodwise, said:
"Finding new ways to treat lymphoma requires a full understanding of exactly how lymphoma arises. While survival rates for these types of lymphoma have improved in recent years, new, more targeted, drugs are needed to make treatment not only even more effective but also kinder - especially for older patients."
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