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Published on 9 May 2014

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Advances from genome sequencing are paving the way to personalised treatment for leukaemia and pre-leukaemia

The results of a number of exciting studies in leukaemias will be presented at the 19th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA).

Leukaemias are life-threatening diseases that can devastate the lives of patients and their families. Great progress has been made in treatments to improve the survival of these otherwise invariably fatal conditions. Major advances in the understanding of leukaemia genetics for genome sequencing of individual patients has taken scientists one step further towards realising personalised medicine for many patients.

The results of a number of exciting studies in leukaemias will be presented at the 19th Congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA).

Leukaemias are life-threatening diseases that can devastate the lives of patients and their families. Great progress has been made in treatments to improve the survival of these otherwise invariably fatal conditions. Major advances in the understanding of leukaemia genetics for genome sequencing of individual patients has taken scientists one step further towards realising personalised medicine for many patients.

In acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) our understanding of how modifications to DNA molecules that do not result in sequence change (i.e., epigenetic changes) can lead to the development of the disease has paved the way for new more targeted treatments. Discussions will be held about how these new epigenetic targets can be exploited to maintain remission after patients have completed the initial intensive phase of their treatment.

For patients with potentially pre-leukaemic diseases, MDS (myelodysplastic syndromes), further advances realised through gene sequencing have greatly advanced our understanding of disease biology of both MDS and leukaemia. How developments in understanding have identified alterations in the regulatory machinery that control epigenetic changes and protein formation might be possible targets for novel drug treatments will be highlighted. Also on the agenda is how adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at risk of relapse might be identified early before they develop any symptoms.

The Press Briefing will be held on Friday, June 13, 08:30–10:00 am (CET) at the MiCo Congress Center in Milan (please visit http://www.ehaweb.org/congress-and-events/19th-congress/key-information/ for further details).



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