Leukaemia and Lymphoma

Leukaemias are cancers that affect the blood and bone marrow. All leukaemias start in the bone marrow where developing blood cells, usually developing white cells, undergo a malignant change. They multiply in an uncontrolled way and crowd the marrow, affecting its ability to make normal blood cells. Increasing numbers of abnormal cells, called blast cells or leukaemic blasts eventually spill out of the bone marrow and travel around the body in the bloodstream. In 2007 in Australia, around 2936 people, including 250 children (0-14 years) are expected to be diagnosed with leukaemia.

Lymphomas are cancers that affect the lymphatic system. Lymphomas arise when developing lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) undergo a malignant change and multiply in an uncontrolled way. Increasing numbers of abnormal lymphocytes, called lymphoma cells accumulate and form collections of cancer cells called tumours in lymph nodes (glands) and other parts of the body. Over time, lymphoma cells replace normal lymphocytes, weakening the immune system's ability to fight infection. Each year in Australia, around 4300 people are diagnosed with lymphoma making it the fifth most common cancer in Australia (sixth most common type of cancer in men and the fifth most common type of cancer in women).

Information courtesy of the Leukaemia Foundation.

This disease is being researched in the following projects:

Research Projects