Some great strides being made in Leukaemia Research…

Stanford scientists change human leukemia cells into harmless immune cells - healthinnovations

Researchers at the Stanford University have discovered that when a certain aggressive leukemia is causing havoc in the body, the solution may be to force the cancer cells to grow up and behave.  After a chance observation in the lab, the researchers found a method that can cause dangerous leukemia cells to mature into harmless immune cells known as macrophages.  The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a mutation called the Philadelphia chromosome is a particularly aggressive cancer with poor outcomes state the team, so finding potential treatments is particularly exciting.

The researchers made the key observation after collecting leukemia cells from a patient and trying to keep the cells alive in a culture plate.  They were throwing everything at them to help them survive when they noted that some of the cancer cells in culture were changing shape and size into what looked like macrophages.  The team looked at previous studies, which showed that early B-cell mouse progenitor cells could be forced to become macrophages when exposed to certain transcription factors, proteins that bind to certain DNA sequences.

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