30 years of research
Professor Mel Greaves from The Institute of Cancer Research conducted an analysis of more than 30 years of research – his own and from colleagues around the world – into the genetics, cell biology, immunology, epidemiology and animal modelling of childhood leukaemia. This includes a number of Children with Cancer UK funded projects
Together they form the most comprehensive body of evidence ever collected on the biology of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) – the most common type of childhood cancer, affecting more than 600 children each year in the UK. The research was published in Nature Reviews Cancer and largely funded by Bloodwise and The Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund.
ALL is particularly prevalent in affluent, advanced societies and its incidence is increasing at around one per cent per year.
The study found that ALL is partially caused by a genetic mutation which predisposes some youngsters to the disease. But of those children born with this genetic mutation, only one per cent go on to develop leukaemia.