Acute myeloid leukaemia and innovation in techniques for the transplantation of hematopoietic progenitors
Prof. Jordi Sierra's team is working on the following lines of research into:
- Clinical and biological prognosis factors to better characterise acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) from the biological point of view, using various techniques and with the aim of determining prognosis groups in order to treat patients in a manner adapted to their risk;
- Post-treatment minimal residual disease and its impact on prognosis;
- How to make hematopoietic progenitor transplants available to more patients regardless of their age and whether the patient does, or does not, have a compatible donor in the family.
Why do we need to investigate?
Over the last 25 years Prof. Jordi Sierra and his team have been designing treatment protocols for chemotherapy and hematopoietic progenitor transplants, or just chemotherapy, according to factors of prognosis.
Two decades ago the global survival rate for patients reaching the age of 60 was 15% and now it is between 40% and 50%. Nevertheless, further research is necessary to improve this percentage and to reduce the level of mortality for patients over the age of 60 because, for this group of patients, little progress has been made in recent years. Many patients can not undergo a bone marrow transplant, suffer a relapse, or both.
Further research is required into improving transplantation focusing, above all, on the prevention of infectious complications and the study of graft-versus-host disease, a common, post-transplant complication in which the organism recognises the donor's hematopoietic progenitors as being hostile.
The impact of our work
Research into factors of prognosis for the disease will enable patients to receive personalised treatment. Prof. Jordi Sierra's team is engaged in a study for 20 hospitals, in Spain and abroad, in which they send samples to the research group. The samples are then studied, and as a result the best treatment protocol to adopt, given the patient's level of risk, can be determined.
Thanks to techniques used by the research group, such as next generation sequencing, many mutations and genetic translocations can be studied at the same time, and for many patients. This speeds things up and reduces costs.
Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute Dossier
For more information, the following web page can be consulted: