Hematologic cancers affect the bone marrow and lymph nodes. They include lymphomas and leukemias. These cancers can occur in people of all ages, including children and young adults. Together, members of the Hematologic Malignancies disease-oriented team (HMDOT) do research to better understand how to prevent and treat these cancers. The HMDOT has four broad goals:
- Identify and avoid defective cellular functions that cause hematologic cancers
- Develop effective treatments for them
- Learn inherited factors that raise the risk for these cancers
- Develop animal models to test new therapies
A Sample of Current Projects
- Correlating clinical outcomes and gene expression. HMDOT members are working to identify subgroups of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), using gene expression profiling in tumor samples. They will correlate the gene expression profiles with clinical characteristics and outcomes. Broader objectives include identifying appropriate treatments for the different types as new metabolic therapies become available.
- Identifying genes for inherited susceptibility to multiple myeloma. Working from the unique resources of the Utah Population Database, the HMDOT looks for genes associated with a familial risk for multiple myeloma. Evidence suggests a familial predisposition for this disease, but the genes are still unknown. Finding them could potentially lead to earlier identification of the disease and perhaps new therapeutic approaches.