- Although the outcome of haematological malignancies has significantly improved in the last decade, only a small fraction of patients are cured
- We typically treat patients only once full-blown cancer has developed
- Our best opportunity to eradicate cancer is early detection and intervention
- Developing tools to detect, purify and characterise transformed cells at both pre-malignant and MRD stages of disease
- Generating open-source databases including multi-OMICS characterisation of normal vs. tumour vs. immune cells from clinically-annotated patient populations
- Producing novel bioinformatic tools for integrating multilayer data
- Defining biomarkers for early intervention at pre-malignant and MRD states as well as novel actionable targets
- Creating human-like mouse models of pre-malignant to full malignant disease
- Definition of new biomarkers with greater accuracy to identify patients at high-risk of transformation well-suited for novel pre-emptive therapies in pre-malignancy.
- Breakthrough concept in response assessment based on depth of ultra-sensitive MRD, but also on the molecular and functional signature of MRD cells, with the goal of tailoring post-MRD treatment strategies.
- Novel understanding of clonal heterogeneity on mechanisms of dissemination and chemoresistance through the analysis of CTC and MRD clones at single cell level rather than inference from tumour bulk samples
Blood cancer patients are typically treated once full-blown cancer has developed. Despite the increasing efficacy of current therapies, in a number of patients, they leave behind small population of resistant tumour cells, that may lead to a relapse.
Detecting and characterising early transformation in blood cells would allow researchers worldwide to develop a therapeutic intervention at earlier stages. This would provide better opportunities at controlling the disease and improve long-term survival.
Focusing on three different types of blood cancer, the Editor project will:
- Identify precise biomarkers for each one of them.
- Understand the mechanisms of initial resistance that lead to relapses