The Haematological Malignancies focus group is studying the Myeloid Malignancies spectrum of diseases which includes Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN) and Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML). A percentage of MDS, MPN and CML patients will evolve into an AML type disease. An increasing number of somatic and germ-line genetic mutations have now been described in these diseases however, intriguingly, the most of these are not restricted to one sub-type. This has enabled different research studies to be woven into one research focus group involving translational and clinical scientists, bio-informaticians, medicinal chemists, pathologists and academic clinicians from the CCRCB and the Belfast Trust.
The projects focused on Myeloid Malignancies include the in vivo models to assess the role of HOX genes in initiation versus maintenance; identifying biomarker of response to epigenetic, proteasome and other novel agents; using markers of disease progression to identify novel therapeutic agents and identifying molecular basis for rationale therapeutic combinations or priming strategies. These laboratory and bioinformatic approaches are complemented by national and international trials for CML, MPD and AML within the ECMC and LLR TAP portfolio.