The DF/HCC Leukemia Program continues to focus on advancing the understanding of molecular pathogenesis as a means to define novel pathways and protein targets that can be inhibited to improve the outcome of patients with acute leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms. The long-range goal of the Program is to accelerate the translation of novel discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic, first into preclinical testing in animal models and then into innovative, investigator-initiated Phase I or 11 clinical trials. The Program's Specific Aims are: 1) to identify novel cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of leukemia and related diseases;2) to generate accurate animal models of leukemia to improve the understanding of pathogenesis and to develop targeted anti-leukemic agents;and 3) to design and implement clinical trials to translate laboratory research discoveries made within the Leukemia Program and the Cancer Center as a whole. The Leukemia Program has been CCSG funded since 2000. The Program received an outstanding merit score at the time of the last competitive review in 2005. The 60 Program members represent four departments of HMS, one department of HSPH and six DF/HCC member institutions. The Program continues to be well-funded with $35.6 million in peer-reviewed funding, of which $16 million was from the NCI and $19.6 million was other peer reviewed funding (2009, total costs). Program members had 879 in Program-relevant publications from 2006 through 2010. Of these 16% were intra-programmatic interactions, 43% were inter-programmatic and 27% were inter-institutional.
Acute leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes and myeloproliferative neoplasms represent major causes of cancer deaths each year in the United States. The Program seeks to understand how leukemia cells are disrupted to initiate and maintain the cancer phenotype and to translate these important discoveries into clinical trials to improve patient outcomes.
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