The overall goal of this program is to improve outcomes in the treatment of human leukemias with more effective and less toxic therapies. We have made significant progress during the previous funding period in understanding the genetic basis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), developing more effective treatments for human leukemias, and validating predictors of therapeutic response. Pre-clinical and clinical studies from Drs. Griffin and Stone, funded by this P01, contributed directly to the FDA-approval of midostaurin for FLT3-mutant AML during the last funding period. Work from Dr. Letai, funded by this P01, contributed directly to FDA- approval of venetoclax for AML during the last funding period, to the demonstration that apoptotic priming predicts response to therapy in leukemia. Work from Dr. Ebert, funded by this P01, elucidated the mechanism of action of lenalidomide and its analogs, leading to widespread drug development in academia and the private sector focused on protein degradation. And work from Dr. Armstrong, funded by this P01, led to a clinical trial of a DOT1L inhibitor with evidence of response in AML. In this renewal, we propose studies to continue this record of therapeutic development for leukemia, leveraging a sample bank, a clinical and genetic database, a xenograft bank, and a team of laboratory and clinical investigators with a long and successful track record of collaborative research. Specifically, we will investigate apoptotic priming and prediction of response to targeted AML therapies in Project 1 (Dr. Letai); the targeting of CBL-mediated signaling and ubiquitin ligase activity in Project 2 (Dr. Ebert); the modulation of the SALL4B transcription factor in Project 3 (Drs. Tenen, Chai, and Qi); and the biology and therapeutic targeting of zinc finger transcription factors in Project 4 (Drs. Armstrong and Fischer). Projects 2, 3, and 4 all focus on the modulation of ubiquitin ligase activity to develop candidate therapeutics (Projects 3 and 4) or understand leukemia biology (Project 2). The team will use a common set of drugs, assays, and model systems. All projects will characterize mutations in primary samples using the Rapid Heme Panel, will test molecules in vitro using dynamic BH3 profiling with Dr. Letai (Project 1), and will use a common set of xenografts. All projects will interact with Drs. Stone and Deangelo, leading leukemia clinical investigators, to move candidate therapeutics into high impact clinical trials with deep correlative studies. In aggregate, these studies will provide insights into leukemia biology, develop highly novel therapeutic strategies, and lead to the advancements in the treatment of AML.

Public Health Relevance

The overall goal of this program is to improve outcomes in the treatment of human leukemias with more effective and less toxic therapies. We will employ novel methodologies and approaches to develop therapeutics that degrade proteins that are essential to leukemia cells, target signaling pathways in specific genetic subgroups, and modulate the apoptotic threshold of leukemia cells. Following pre-clinical studies in common model systems, the most promising therapeutic combinations will be tested in clinical trials with deep molecular characterization of patient samples.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
Program Officer
Henderson, Lori A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
United States
Zip Code
Chu, S Haihua; Song, Evelyn J; Chabon, Jonathan R et al. (2018) Inhibition of MEK and ATR is effective in a B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia model driven by Mll-Af4 and activated Ras. Blood Adv 2:2478-2490
Sridhar, Radhakrishnan; Takei, Hisashi; Syed, Riyaz et al. (2018) Styryl Quinazolinones as Potential Inducers of Myeloid Differentiation via Upregulation of C/EBP?. Molecules 23:
Sievers, Quinlan L; Gasser, Jessica A; Cowley, Glenn S et al. (2018) Genome-wide screen identifies cullin-RING ligase machinery required for lenalidomide-dependent CRL4CRBN activity. Blood 132:1293-1303
Wang, Jinhua; Erazo, Tatiana; Ferguson, Fleur M et al. (2018) Structural and Atropisomeric Factors Governing the Selectivity of Pyrimido-benzodiazipinones as Inhibitors of Kinases and Bromodomains. ACS Chem Biol 13:2438-2448
Fathi, Amir T; Erba, Harry P; Lancet, Jeffrey E et al. (2018) A phase 1 trial of vadastuximab talirine combined with hypomethylating agents in patients with CD33-positive AML. Blood 132:1125-1133
Cortes, Jorge E; Douglas Smith, B; Wang, Eunice S et al. (2018) Glasdegib in combination with cytarabine and daunorubicin in patients with AML or high-risk MDS: Phase 2 study results. Am J Hematol 93:1301-1310
Cusan, Monica; Cai, Sheng F; Mohammad, Helai P et al. (2018) LSD1 inhibition exerts its antileukemic effect by recommissioning PU.1- and C/EBP?-dependent enhancers in AML. Blood 131:1730-1742
Cortes, Jorge; Tamura, Kenji; DeAngelo, Daniel J et al. (2018) Phase I studies of AZD1208, a proviral integration Moloney virus kinase inhibitor in solid and haematological cancers. Br J Cancer 118:1425-1433
DiNardo, Courtney D; Pratz, Keith; Pullarkat, Vinod et al. (2018) Venetoclax combined with decitabine or azacitidine in treatment-naive, elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Blood :
Postalcioglu, Merve; Kim, Haesook T; Obut, Faruk et al. (2018) Impact of Thrombotic Microangiopathy on Renal Outcomes and Survival after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 24:2344-2353

Showing the most recent 10 out of 376 publications