Glasgow researchers identify way to overcome chemotherapy-resistant leukaemia

Treatment-resistance in patients with one of the most aggressive types of blood cancer may be overcome by combining a new targeted drug called venetoclax with chemotherapy, researchers in the Institute of Cancer Sciences have shown.

Picture of Paul O'Gorman Research Centre Sign

Testing for activity of a cancer gene called 'Trib2' in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) could identify those people who would most benefit from this targeted treatment. The research, published in Oncotarget, was funded by the blood cancer research charity Bloodwise with additional funding by Children with Cancer UK, The Howat Foundation, The Children’s Leukaemia Research Project and Friends of Paul O’Gorman.

Dr Karen Keeshan, who led the project, said: “Combining BCL2 inhibitors such as venetoclax with standard chemotherapy appears to be extremely effective at overcoming treatment resistance in this aggressive leukaemia in the laboratory.”  

First published: 26 June 2018