Kyle working on drug for childhood cancer

Dr Kyle Matchett
Dr Kyle Matchett

An Annaghmore man who is carrying out research into drugs for childhood leukaemia that will have less severe side effects, has been speaking about his work at a conference in London.

Dr Kyle Matchett (34) was one of just 12 invited speakers at the UK Childhood Cancer Conference, and the only one from outside England.

A former pupil of Clounagh and Portadown College, he is based at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast.

His research is focused on developing new drugs for childhood cancers that are effective but less toxic.

This work was awarded a prize at the World Congress of the International Society of Hematology meeting last year.

Dr Matchett said that while more work needs to be done in the lab, his experiments so far show that one of the drugs is effective against leukaemia but has little toxicity in normal cells.

Speaking of the conference, Dr Matchett said, “It was humbling to speak about my research in front of many parents who have unfortunately suffered the loss of a child to cancer.

“The type of leukaemia I work in is aggressive and new drugs are needed for children.”

The talk followed the award of Dr Matchett’s first research grant from Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) and Little Princess Trust. In addition to these charities, his work is funded by Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI and Cash for Kids NI.