First Research Grant made by Team Lewis Trust
Yesterday was a very important and exciting day for our charity. We made our first grant to help fund a research project into T-ALL! This is what our work and the tremendous efforts of everyone who fundraises for us is ultimately about.
Dr Frederik van Delft and his team at Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre, Newcastle University are investigating ways of overcoming drug resistance in relapsed and refractory T-cell leukaemias and whether new combinations of existing leukaemia drugs could offer a way of doing this.
We have supported Action Medical Research's overall funding of this 3 year study with a £10,000 grant.
Yesterday we visited Dr van Delft and his team to learn more about the project. One aspect we particularly liked was that - if the research pans out as hoped - it could be quite quickly brought to a human trial and start making a difference sooner. It means so much to us personally and to Lewis' memory to be able to support work like this. Their passion and determination to make a difference with their work reinforced our determination to do the same.
How could this research help?
“Our aim is to develop a new treatment approach that will improve survival for children and young people with T-ALL that has come back,” says Dr van Delft.
Dr van Delft is building on his previous laboratory work, which found that a combination of two existing drugs used to treat leukaemia – dasatinib (DAS) and dexamethasone (DEX) – could be an effective way to reverse drug resistance and kill T-ALL cells.
The team will now carry out more laboratory experiments to find out if and why these drugs might work better together for treating drug-resistant cancers. They will also search for specific characteristics of a child’s cancer cells that can help predict how well their disease will respond to this treatment.
“If our results look promising, we aim to test this drug combination in an international trial – selecting the children with relapsed T-ALL who are most likely to benefit,” says Dr van Delft.