Improving treatments for infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (iALL)

Improving treatments for infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (iALL)

Institute: Telethon Kids Institute
Recipient: Professor Ursula Kees and Dr Rishi Kotecha
Funding: $475,217 July 2014 to June 2018

A world-first project to urgently find new treatments for infants with iALL.

Researchers led by Professor Ursula Kees are determined to improve survival rates and reduce the side effects that follow intensive and toxic treatments given to children with cancer.

Current treatment for paediatric ALL can include a combination of as many as ten drugs and several treatment phases to attain complete and continued remission. Despite this, infants diagnosed with ALL during early-life (aged less than three months) face a survival rate of only thirty per cent.


This iALL project has identified and will further characterise the effectiveness FDA-approved drugs currently not used to treat infants with leukaemia. The findings from this research can be implemented into the design of future clinical trials.

“We are grateful that The Kids’ Cancer Project is enabling us to progress our exciting results identifying novel anti-cancer drugs to treat a highly aggressive cancer afflicting infants. The funding will ultimately allow us to rigorously test these drugs so the best possible treatments reach the clinic and improve the outcomes of our very young patients with leukaemia.” - Telethon Kids Institute