drug resistance

Stopping cancer resistance

How do cancer cells fight back?

Autumn 2013

£65,947 over 3 years to the School of Medicine, University of East Anglia

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is a rare cancer in which abnormal cells are made in the bone marrow.  It is more common in people over 65, and this age group can be more difficult to treat because they may have other health problems or are less able to cope with intensive treatments. In fact, survival rates for older people have changed little over the last 20-30 years, even while results have improved for younger patients. 

One target for research is the ability of cancer cells to protect themselves from attack.  Big C has previously funded work on a protein called Nrf2, which is known to be involved in “switching on” genes that protect cells from chemicals and radiation. Cells in the bone marrow are also involved in encouraging the survival of leukaemia cells during treatment.  This grant will fund a PhD student for 3 years to investigate the role played by Nrf2 in the interaction between leukaemia and bone marrow cells.   This could lead to better treatments for AML, and will be of wider interest as Nrf2 is implicated in other cancers.

Big C can only continue to fund projects like this with help from our local donors. Can you help? Click here to find out how you can help make projects like this happen.