In November 2009 researchers at the Malaghan Institute for Medical Research in Wellington New Zealand embarked on a one year pilot program studying LAM cells.
This research initiative by the Malaghan Institute’s Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology Group is supported by The New Zealand LAM Trust and the LAM Australasia Research Alliance (LARA).
The project is investigating the cancer-like properties of LAM cells – specifically, whether LAM cells can grow in culture under conditions that support the growth of self-renewing cancer cells.
The big question is whether LAM cells grown in these conditions express self renewal genes typical of cancer stem cells.
The pilot study is the initial stage of a proposed three year study to be undertaken by Prof Mike Berridge and his team at the Institute in collaboration with Dr Lyn Moir working under the direction of Prof Judith Black AO in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Sydney.
The larger study will explore the feasibility of treating LAM by using the immunological therapies currently being developed for treating cancer.
The Australian and New Zealand LAM organisations are funding this project with contributions from large and small donors, with some of the money raised coming from events organised by women with LAM themselves.
LARA and the NZ LAM Trust wish to thank all their supporters for making this crucial research possible. We wish the research team success in the first year of this exciting program.