The Acute Leukaemia Team aims to develop new therapeutic strategies for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a disease with a poor outcome for many patients. The team’s research focusses on improving understanding of the disease through studies on leukaemia stem cells and their interactions with normal haematopoietic stem cells.
The team’s research has resulted in a number of relatively high-profile publications and potential new avenues for treatment (e.g. Taussig et al. Blood 2008) – work which overturned the standard model of leukaemia stem cells and is well cited. This research suggests AML may be treated with monoclonal antibodies directed against CD38.
The follow-up paper (Taussig et al. Blood 2010), was the highest-cited orginial research paper published in Blood in 2010 – out of more than 1000 papers.
The Acute Leukaemia Team is also looking at the metabolism of tumour cells and has been studying the role of arginine in AML. Arginine deprivation induces death in AML cells, suggesting that these cells are dependent on this amino acid and that enzymatic degradation is a promising approach to treatment.