Dr Kusumbe is looking into the specific blood vessel and cellular environments (called ‘vascular niches’) within the body where acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) can develop.
As treatments aimed at inhibiting vascular growth have not improved patient outcomes, it can be suggested that, the relationship between the cancer and the blood vessels is not as simple previously thought. Dr Kusumbe’s work has already shown that blood vessels in bone are diverse and varied and specific blood vessels play different roles in regulating bone and blood cell formation.
This research study hopes to define the way distinct vascular niches regulate AML and unravel the regulatory role of endothelial cells in AML. 3D and 4D imaging will help Dr Kusumbe in her work, which will greatly increase our understanding of the relationship between vasculature and AML, and help in the development of better treatments for the Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.