Dr Rachel Thijssen

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Developing strategies to overcome venetoclax resistance in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Australian research has led to the development of venetoclax, a new kind of cancer treatment that targets the key cell survival protein BCL2. Venetoclax is highly effective for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients who have limited treatment options. However, despite achieving deep and durable responses, in most patients, cancer eventually returns while on treatment. Dr Thijssen's aim is to unravel what drives resistance to venetoclax and to rationally design new venetoclax combination therapies that may be curative.