The proposed Leukemia Translational Science Center (LTSC), will generate, coordinate and lead translational studies in leukemia within ECOG-ACRIN and within the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). The LTSC will serve as the central hub for studies of the Leukemia Laboratory Committee (LLC), with the support of the Leukemia Translational Laboratory (LTRL) and the Leukemia Tissue Bank (LTB), and a comprehensive Leukemia Data Warehouse. The LTSC is led by R. Levine, A. Melnick, and A. Ferrando. They have developed an extensive track record in translational research leadership and implementation of state-of-the-art correlative studies in leukemia biology. The LTSC is further enhanced through its partnership with the MSK Centers for Molecular Oncology and Center for Hematologic Malignancies, which provide access to high-throughput genomics technologies, state-of-the-art genomic platforms, computational resources, and the capability to perform extensive, CLIA-certified, clinical genomics assays. In order to maximally accelerate high quality clinical trials based on the most important science, the LTSC will establish an interaction framework that will attract junior and senior clinical investigators, laboratory scientists, computational biologists, biostatisticians and others, and enable them to form synergistic research teams. The LTSC will provide pilot project funding for cross-disciplinary teams to jump-start these projects and an extensive suite of scientific resources, including access to patient samples and clinical/molecular data, genomic and epigenetic profiling capabilities and analytic platforms, scientific support, and a robust, productive collaborative leukemia research community. In this way, the LTSC will ensure that translational scientific studies are seamlessly integrated into leukemia clinical trials to identify predictors of response/outcome, identify and test novel therapies, and develop innovative correlative studies to assess response to anti-leukemia therapies. Through these activities, the LTSC aims to transform the standard practice of leukemia care with the development and implementation of personalized diagnostic methods, biomarkers and therapies.
Advances in the treatment of hematologic malignancies have been disappointing. The ECOG-ACRIN Leukemia Translational Science Center will create, support, and synergize partnerships between clinical and laboratory investigators and foster the continuous, near-term translation of state-of-the art laboratory studies into the clinical context to improve outcomes for leukemia patients.