Our goal at Leukaemia Busters is to make future treatments safer and gentler for leukaemia patients and yet more effective and reliable in curing them of their disease. This we aim to achieve this by conducting high quality translational research, that has a direct practical outcome of direct benefit for the patient.
At Leukaemia Busters we aim to bring about fundamental improvements to the present day therapies for leukaemia and other related conditions through the development of antibodies for use in treatment. Antibodies normally defend us against infectious diseases but Leukaemia Busters funded scientists can engineer these to selectively attack leukaemia cells directly leaving other normal cells in the patients body untouched. This is unlike today’s conventional chemotherapy where leukaemia cells and the patients normal cells are both damaged by the treatment.
Cells producing monoclonal antibodies are grown in special fermenters called hollow fibre bioreactors.
Our various programmes of research investigate ways in which this can be achieved most effectively by arming the antibody with a powerful toxin turning it into a guided missile with a deadly warhead or by using the antibody to directly recruit the patients own natural defences to kill the leukaemia cell. Leukaemia Busters supported scientists have discovered that using both of these approaches in combination achieves a significantly better therapeutic effect. There is now plenty of good evidence that similar types of antibody-based treatments are highly beneficial for some patients and will lead to a revolution in the way in which leukaemia and other cancers are be treated.
Responsibility for devising and implementing the charity’s scientific strategy and managing the charity’s translational research portfolio lies with the Scientific Director’s Office. Laboratory work conducted in the charity’s own laboratories and in other collaborating laboratories at home and abroad is highly focussed and always aimed at patient benefit.