Investigating drug resistance and genetic changes in Ph-like ALL in adolescents

Investigating drug resistance and genetic changes in Ph-like ALL in adolescents

Recipient: Dr Susan Heatley
Institute: South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute
Funding: $398,146 July 2016 to June 2022

Childhood cancer treatment – it’s personal.

Patients diagnosed with specific subsets of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) are sadly at high risk of relapse. Due to the toxic effects caused by non-targeted therapies, treatment options are limited.

Research carried out by Dr Heatley has shown that a substantial proportion of treatment failures in ALL patients are attributable to specific mutations, referred to as Ph-like ALL subtype, which are prevalent among adolescents.

Thanks to funding by The Kids’ Cancer Project, Dr Heatley will further study the genetic changes underpinning Ph-like ALL. Through better understanding of what drives the disease at a genetic level, researchers will be able to establish effective treatment options with a personalised medicine approach.