Funding for 2016 -
Dr. Kurre Research
Current treatment for children diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) leads to the rapid clearance of leukemia (blood cancer) cells from the bloodstream. Yet, up to 40% of children still suffer from disease recurrence. We now understand that the bone marrow serves as a sanctuary, protecting residual leukemia cells that give rise to drug-resistance and relapse.
Our research is therefore focused the cells (termed stroma) in the bone marrow of AML patients that are responsible for the emergence of drug resistance. Our long term goal is to develop treatments that overcome stroma-enforced drug resistance.
Not until the role of the bone marrow in sustaining residual leukemia cells is understood, will children with AML experience the full benefits of next-generation “precision medicine” and the “personalized treatment” that is so successful in treating adult patients with leukemia.
The 2012 BBC donation of $50,000 were used as follows:
Additional Study Update
Dr. Davies shares information on an additional study which has personal relevance to the Dearborn family since Max had AML with the monosomy 7 mutation. Researchers in Dr. Davies’ group are continuing to work on understanding why very young children sometimes get monosomy 7. They have been able to show that when monosomy 7 arises in very young children the abnormality arises in a very early stem cell; in at least some cases, the abnormality happens before the baby is born because they can find the abnormality in their blood at birth. They are now exploring this further by growing the abnormal cells in special mice, so they can study potential treatments of monosomy 7. They reported their findings on this topic at the American Society of Hematology Annual meeting in Atlanta in December 2012.