Investigating immune cell “macrophage” driven drug resistance in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Project Details


Resistance to cancer drugs ( therapy resistance) is one of the main contributing factors towards poor survival in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML); the second most common leukaemia in adults and children. Cross-talk between AML cells, and bone marrow (BM) dwelling cells, significantly contributes towards therapy resistance. Potential cancer-supporting macrophages (immune cells) are elevated in the BM of blood acute myeloid leukaemia patients and other blood cancer patients, and have been shown to play a role in therapy resistance. Our initial findings from our collaborative studies suggest that substances released from macrophages can protect AML cells from traditional and new targeted cancer drugs. We also show that protection mediated by macrophages is associated with upregulation of the STAT3-ERK1/2-MCL-1 cell survival pathway. We predict that by targeting this pathway, via clinically applicable inhibitors obtained from our collaborators, that we can overcome bone marrow mediated therapy resistance in AML. To interrogate this, my lab will investigate the ability of AML cell released factors in re-educating macrophages to a leukaemia- supportive type, and in turn ascertain the impact of these macrophages on therapy resistance in AML. In the long-term these studies will lead to the development of much needed new drugs to safely and effectively treat, and improve AML patient survival.
Short titleMacrophage driven drug resistance in Acute mYeloid Leukamia
StatusNot started

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.