Childhood leukaemia cells identified

Scientists have identified the cells that cause a common type of childhood leukaemia – T cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (T-ALL).

The team found that with irradiation treatment in animal models, more than 99 per cent of cells in the thymus were killed, but these stem cell-like cells persisted and rapidly recovered. This suggests that these cells may survive therapy and be responsible for relapsed disease following treatment. Targeting of these cells may lead to improved treatments for this disease and help prevent relapse.

Approximately 50 new cases of T-ALL are diagnosed every year in Australia, two thirds of these in children or adolescents.

Read more at The University of Melbourne