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Major blood cancer is 11 distinct diseases

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is a common type of blood cancer affecting 3,000 new patients per year in the UK. It is often very aggressive, especially in older populations, with a 5 year survival rate of 20%. Treatment involves chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, however it is very difficult to know which patients will respond well and which may not. In a new study by Dr Peter Campbell from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Dr Elli Papaemmanuil, who co-authored the study, have shown that AML is in fact 11 different diseases and that identifying patients according to this new sub classification can have a far more reliable prediction of treatment outcomes.