'I want to identify the Achilles heel of blood cancer cells' - Luke Jones, Irish Cancer Society funded researcher

I have been working in childhood leukaemia since 2012. Originally from Sydney, Australia I moved to Ireland in late 2018 and in 2019 joined Prof Jonathan Bond’s research group at Systems Biology Ireland (SBI), to gain expertise in systems biology and to allow pursuit of innovative insights into acute leukaemias.

I was recently awarded funding from the Irish Cancer Society and began working on a new project within SBI to identify more effective treatments for paediatric blood cancers.

Our research group is collocated at Children’s Health Ireland (CHI), Crumlin. This allows us to gain valuable insight into important clinical issues, and to keep outcomes for paediatric patients at the forefront of our work at all times.

My research is particularly focused on a type of leukaemia called acute myeloid leukaemia

(AML). AML accounts for approximately 20% of all paediatric leukaemias and is the leading cause of blood cancer-related mortality in childhood. Survival rates for paediatric AML have improved dramatically in recent decades, now exceeding 60%, however this is mostly due to improvements in patient care rather than the introduction of new therapies.

Through this fellowship, I want to find more precise treatment options that target the cancer without damaging normal cells by identifying the ‘Achilles heel’ of blood cancer cells.

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I believe that using systems biology will help identify new drug combinations that will provide better, safer treatments and improve outcomes for paediatric patients with leukaemia.

I am extremely excited about developing our patient and public involvement strategy throughout the fellowship, especially the development of a patient advisory group.

It will be a privilege to work closely with, and learn from, patient advocates throughout this fellowship.

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.

Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Roz, Cancer Nurseline

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