Blood Cancers

Head of Theme: Professor Richard Lock

The three main types of blood cancers are leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Leukaemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, while lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Myeloma, another type of blood cancer, is extremely rare in children. The two most common types of leukaemia in children are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and acute myelogenous leukaemia.

There’s cancer and there’s blood cancer. It has different causes and effects.

researcher lab

Our aim is to increase the cure rates for all blood cancers in children to 100%, while also reducing the short- and long-term side effects associated with current treatments. Consequently, our research has a strong translational focus: to identify new leukaemia-specific targets, develop novel targeted drugs, and move these drugs as quickly as possible from bench to bedside.

We investigate multiple aspects of leukaemia biology and treatment, interrogating the mechanisms that contribute to leukaemia initiation, progression, relapse and drug resistance. We use multiple, diverse pre-clinical models of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) to test promising drugs. In the clinic we monitor at the molecular level the treatment responses of children with ALL, and these results are used to guide further treatment decisions.