27 Apr 2014

Research highlights

New potential treatment opportunities for leukemia patients

Professor Fabienne Mackay
The long-term survival of people suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) could be increased with the development of new therapeutic strategies. Ground-breaking research by Monash University Professor Fabienne Mackay from the Department of Immunology and PhD student Damien Easton-Saulep has been published in the prestigious journal Leukemia that uncovers never before reported aspects of CLL. Professor Mackay’s research found that key cells called “plasmacytoid dendritic cells”, which are important for fighting infections and stimulating other immune cells in the destruction of tumor and infected cells, are eliminated in people with aggressive CLL but can be restored in animal models. See more: 14 April 2014 Monash story 

Estrogen therapy promising for women with treatment-resistant schizophrenia

Source: alasbimn journal
Professor Jayashri Kulkarni and a team of researchers at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry research centre have published evidence in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, showing the clinical effectiveness of estrogen as an adjunct therapy for women with treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Their large-scale trial adds to the growing body of evidence that estradiol has antipsychotic effects, particularly at higher doses, and has a clinically meaningful effect in this particular group of women. See article reference and abstract.  

Is gluten a cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in people without celiac disease?

Gluten: appears not to affect
non-celiac IBS sufferers
The avoidance of wheat- and gluten-containing products is a worldwide phenomenon. While celiac disease is a well-established entity, the evidence base for gluten as a trigger of symptoms in patients without celiac disease (so-called ‘non-celiac gluten sensitivity’ or NCGS) is limited. Department of Gastroenterology (DoG) researchers review the evidence and conclude that, "On current evidence the existence of the entity of NCGS remains unsubstantiated." See full text of article.