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King's researchers awarded £1.75m to test new leukaemia treatment

Researchers led by Dr. Richard Dillon within the Cancer Genetics Group have been awarded £1 million from CRUK and £750k additional contribution from AbbVie to test a new approach to treating acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

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AML is the most common type of aggressive leukaemia and the group have identified a treatment that could be an alternative to intensive chemotherapy in a large molecularly defined subgroup of patients. They will now formally test this in a clinical trial called VICTOR (Venetoclax or Intensive Chemotherapy for Treatment of favourable Risk AML). This could lead to chemotherapy-free treatments for large numbers of patients, sparing them from the severe short- and long-term side effects of intensive chemotherapy but still offering the chance of long-term cure.

Chemotherapy side effects are highly unpleasant and can cause long term disability and even death. This is the first trial involving chemotherapy-free curative treatment for aggressive leukaemia and could lead to kinder and safer treatment for large numbers of leukaemia patients worldwide– Dr Richard Dillon, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cancer Genetics and Consultant Haematologist.

The VICTOR study team are working with Haematology clinicians and patients across King’s Health Partners and the South East London Cancer Network. The team will collaborate with Dr Lynn Quek at the University of Oxford, Professors Charlie Craddock and Sylvie Freeman at the University of Birmingham, Professor Steve Knapper at the University of Cardiff, patient representatives and hospitals throughout the UK and in New Zealand and Denmark.

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Richard  Dillon

Richard Dillon

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cancer Genetics, Consultant Haematologist