Our lab studies leukemia stem cell (LSC) metabolism with the objective of identifying therapeutic strategies to target LSC-specific metabolic properties resulting in LSC death and improving outcomes for people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
LSCs are the root of AML
In leukemia, a small subset of cells called leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are thought to drive disease initiation, pathogenesis and relapse.
LSCs arise when normal blood stem cells become damaged. This damage causes these stem cells to generate leukemic cells instead of healthy blood cells.
While conventional cytotoxic chemotherapies often reduce the bulk tumour, LSCs can escape chemotherapy treatment and result in relapse.
In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the most common form of adult acute leukemia, the long-term survival rate is approximately 30%.
Therefore, therapies designed to eradicate LSCs are urgently needed.
We and others have shown that LSCs enriched from AML patients have unique metabolic properties compared to healthy stem cells.
Our goal is to target these vulnerabilities to inform the development of novel treatments.
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