Funded by the 2015 V Foundation Wine Celebration
Blood cancer affects thousands of individuals each year, and despite impressive early therapeutic advances, cure rates for most blood cancers have reached a plateau. Moreover, most therapies that are currently used do not specifically target blood cancer cells and therefore lead to undesirable side effects in a large number of patients. There is therefore an urgent need for developing safer new drugs for this devastating disease. The focus of this research proposal is to define the molecular mechanisms of a specific sub-type of acute myeloid leukemia that mostly affects children and young adults but is also seen in older patients. In this project, we will make use of molecular, genetic and biochemical methods to identify ways and means by which genes that are mis-regulated in these tumors lead to cancer development. Based on our preliminary findings, we propose that our approach may lead not only to a more detailed understanding of this specific sub-type of blood cancer, but also to novel treatment strategies.