• Question: What types of discoveries have you made about white blood cells which are linked to cancer?

    Asked by 445crazystemperson to David, Ross, Lorena on 20 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 20 Jun 2019:


      Leukemia is a type of cancer found in your blood and bone marrow, is caused by the rapid production of abnormal white blood cells. The high number of abnormal white blood cells are not able to fight infection, and they impair the ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells and platelets.
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      Leukemia isn’t something I know very much about so hopefully Ross and Lorena will be able to help you with your question.

    • Photo: Lorena Boquete Vilarino

      Lorena Boquete Vilarino answered on 21 Jun 2019:


      I work in how white blood cells are able to detect and kill cancer cells. I am still in the very early stages of my research, but I have discovered that mouse white blood cells can see human cancer cells, and that they get ready to fight them when you put them together in a petri dish. This means we can use mouse white blood cells (which we can get easily) to study how human cancer cells hide from white blood cells.
      Some cancer treatments are supposed to kill the cancer cells in a way that makes white blood cells see other cancer cells, but I have discovered that it doesn’t seem to work that way!
      I am also trying to make human white blood cells in the lab and use them to attack the cancer cells

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