Prevention of myeloid cancers

Grant Details

Grantee Name: Prof. George Vassiliou

Organization: Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Country: UK

Project Name:
 Prevention of myeloid cancers by understanding their pre-clinical evolution
Funding Year:
 2018
Project period: 2 years

Prevention of myeloid cancers by understanding their pre-clinical evolution

This study will assess the genetic sequencing of stored blood samples from two patient groups to increase the knowledge about the pathway and changes cells suffer from pre-leukemia to leukemia, supporting the development of novel clinical concepts. Based on preliminary data, the investigators propose to identify and treat high-risk individuals with ARCH, before they have developed the disease.


Lay Abstract

The myeloid malignancies are a group of related cancers, including the myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Collectively, they affect 10 per 100,000 individuals per year and in most cases they are incurable. We and others identified the phenomenon of clonal hematopoiesis (CH), the expansion of a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) and its progeny driven by leukemia-associated somatic mutations. CH is thought to be the precursor of most myeloid malignancies and we recently reported that certain characteristics of CH make it more likely to progress to one of these cancers. However, our ability to identify high risk individuals remains limited and insufficient for use in clinical/screening programmes. In this research programme funded jointly by the Rise Tide Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, we will perform detailed studies of the behaviour or CH over years/decades and develop new approaches to enhance our predictive ability and give us new insights into the factors driving CH towards leukaemia. We hope that our work will enable us to build the foundations of future approaches for early interception and prevention of myeloid cancers.

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