Scientists break new ground in potential treatment of common form of leukaemia

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) a blood cell cancer affecting white blood cells, can adapt in some patients and develop mutations making them resistant to the common treatment of Ibrutinib. The patients are then regarded as ”high risk”.

Research, carried out by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, found that the combination of Ibrutinib, a targeted treatment already in clinical use, with a new inhibitor called AZD8055, helped promote Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia CLL cell death in a preclinical study.

Dr Alison Michie, Reader within the Institute of Cancer Sciences, who led the study published in Clinical Cancer Research commented:  "Reducing the ability of CLL cells to survive is key to interrupting disease progression. In our study, we established that by targeting and inhibiting the function of a protein called mTOR which is often deregulated in cancer, we improved the killing of CLL cells. Our findings are important because they could demonstrate a potential new therapeutic approach for treating patients with high-risk CLL.”

First published: 30 July 2019