The outcomes for patients with high-risk lymphoid malignancies, including T-cell lymphomas, mantle cell lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia that harbor CRLF2 rearrangements, remain poor. The long-term goal of this R35 program is to build on our models, collaborations, environment and record of productivity to iteratively define aspects of lymphoid tumor biology and translate these discoveries into therapeutic approaches for patients. Over the previous 5 years, we identified mutations of the G protein beta subunits GNB1 and GNB2 across a range of different cancers that drive transformation and resistance to kinase inhibitors, defined the biology of a rare subtype of follicular lymphoma, established a clinicogenetic prognostic model for follicular lymphoma, co-developed a strategy to interrogate therapeutic sensitivity of single leukemia cells, defined the relationship between HMGN1 triplication, Down Syndrome and ALL, helped identify chr.X genes that drive excess cancer risk in males and piloted the use of next-generation lymphoma diagnostics in lower- and middle- income countries. Work from my lab has led to multiple clinical trials that are currently open; each trial includes biopsies prior to treatment, on treatment and after progression of disease. I lead a Specialized Center for Research that is focused on developing new strategies to target T-cell lymphomas. My laboratory has also established and banked >350 human leukemia and lymphoma patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) that serially passage. We utilize these models to orchestrate phase II-like pre-clinical trials completely in mice, define aspects of compartment-specific biology and elucidate mechanisms of in vivo acquired resistance. We have made the PDXs and affiliated data available through an open source web portal (www.PRoXe.org). I collaborate closely with bioengineers and computational biologists through an NCI Cancer Systems Biology Consortium. I have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure, including gain- and loss-of-function screening, next-generation sequencing, high-throughput chemical biology, proteomics and metabolite profiling. The major areas of focus for this R35 proposal build on my current R01 awards to build innovative and faithful models of lymphoid malignancies, interrogate in situ microenvironmental and immune responses, define mechanisms of therapeutic response and target adaptive in vivo resistance. With the expertise to orchestrate preclinical therapeutics, my existing relationships within academia and Pharma, a network to facilitate rapid translation into clinical trials, and a track-record for innovative discovery, I am uniquely positioned to make transformative advances against high- risk lymphoid malignancies over the next seven years and beyond.
The outcomes for patients with high-risk lymphoid malignancies, including T-cell lymphomas, mantle cell lymphoma, and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) that harbor CRLF2 rearrangements remain poor. The goal of this R35 program is to build on our models, collaborations, environment and record of productivity to iteratively define aspects of lymphoid tumor biology and translate these discoveries into therapeutic approaches for patients.