BSH 2017 | Where will leukemia research go next?

John Gribben

John Gribben, MD, DSc, FRCPath, FMed Sci, from the Barts Cancer Institute, London, UK, discusses the future of leukemia research at the 2017 British Society for Haematology (BSH) Annual Scientific Meeting in Brighton, UK. He highlights that great advances have been made in the treatment of some types of blood cancer such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but that the development of resistance to treatments is common. Prof. Gribben also points out that there have been few developments in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in elderly patients. According to Prof. Gribben, the future of blood cancer research is led by diseases like CLL, where targeted therapies have led to major advances, and he believes that this will also be the case in other types of leukemias. He argues that patient groups which will benefit from particular treatments need to be identified, and that combination therapies need to be further investigated. Prof. Gribben describes the importance of the charitable sector in this research, due to the difficulties for pharmaceutical companies in trialing combination treatments using agents from different companies.

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