Identifying targetable lesions in pediatric, adolescent and young adult hematologic malignancies
Acute leukemias such as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) together make up the majority of childhood leukemias. Although great strides have been made to improve cure, there remain groups of patients who continue to recur and succumb to their disease. Current intensive therapies also carry life-long side effects that impact every survivor of these diseases. Novel targeted therapies hold the promise of directly attacking the cancer cells with improved clinical response while decreasing long-term side effects. Over the past decade we have focused on obtaining leukemic samples from individuals diagnosed with these cancers in order to identify abnormal signaling that could be targeted within each sample. From these studies we have begun to understand the complex landscape of molecular pathway dependence in individual leukemias that will eventually lead to better targeting of these diseases.