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Long-term research breakthrough

Generous support helped deliver a research breakthrough that could lead to the first drug approved for patients with the rare blood disease, AL amyloidosis.  

Back in 2011, the Leukaemia Foundation invested in an international AL amyloidosis clinical trial, headed up in Australia by Associate Professor Peter Mollee.  

Assoc. Professor Peter Mollee
Assoc. Professor Peter Mollee is a consultant haematologist in clinical and laboratory haematology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group (ALLG).

The trial was run in Australia by the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group (ALLG) and took place in seven hospitals around Australia and in 14 countries internationally.   

“It enabled us to have enough money to bring the international trial to Australia,” said Assoc. Professor Mollee.   

“It wouldn’t have happened without that vital support.  

“This was a trial that investigated the effectiveness of a drug called bortezomib in people with AL amyloidosis.” 

You may have heard of bortezomib because it’s highly effective at treating a related blood cancer called myeloma.  

But AL amyloidosis is quite different to myeloma. The disease sees the build-up of amyloid proteins in tissue and organs of your body and can lead to fatal organ failure.   

This year, the results of Assoc. Professor Mollee’s trial were released.   

“You’re always looking for a good response from the organs, but also that you may prolong the patient’s life,” said Assoc. Professor Mollee.   

“The trial demonstrated the significant benefit of bortezomib in improving response rates and overall survival.   

“The 30% absolute improvement in survival is a staggering result almost never seen in blood cancers.”   

The project team are now awaiting publication of their results and will then look to submit the new treatment protocol to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the regulatory body for medicines in Australia.   

Assoc. Professor Mollee is grateful to support like yours for ensuring people living with this rare disease have access to improved treatments.  

“The Leukaemia Foundation has provided invaluable support since the beginning and none of this would have been possible without the care and dedication of the community – thank you.”