The Leukaemia Laboratory has a number of major themes contained within the umbrella of diagnosis and treatment of haematological malignancies.
One of the major problems of leukaemia, for example, is that although patients may enter remission after chemotherapy, a large proportion subsequently relapse with their disease.
One novel approach is the use of immunotherapy to stimulate the patient’s own immune system to recognise and attack their disease.
Disease could be brought under control using chemotherapy then immunotherapy could stimulate the immune system to attack any residual disease thus prolonging the remission period and possibly eradicating the leukaemic cells totally.
We are currently investigating the production of dendritic cells (central to the generation of a specific immune response) and ways to stimulate T cells to recognise and destroy leukaemic cells. We hope to carry this forward to phase one clinical trial.
Another area of interest includes in vitro work on specific antibodies conjugated to a toxin which can bind to leukaemic cells, be internalised and prevent the cell from dividing and the effectiveness of combining the antibody with low dose chemotherapy.
We regularly accommodate and supervise various students ranging from four week medical student placements to year-long Salford University work experience, through to longer term MSc, MD and PhD project students.