T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL)
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is a malignancy of immature T cell progenitors, affecting both children and adults, which presents with thymic and/or bone marrow-based disease. While current chemotherapy regimens achieve cure in ~80% of pediatric patients, adults fare much more poorly with only 40% 5-year overall survival. Relapses in both patient populations are presumably due to ineffective targeting of leukemia stem cells, which are thought to be primarily resistant to standard chemotherapy due to features such as relative quiescence, resistance to apoptosis, enhanced expression of DNA repair enzymes and drug efflux pumps, and localization within protective microenvironmental niches.
Our scientists aims to treat this type of cancer by specific targeting the cancer stem cells. They are working hard to develop a detailed understanding of these cancer stem cells’ unique biological properties and requirements for growth, survival, and self-renewal. They are also investigating critical signaling elements and their contribution to leukemia stem cell behavior.