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Donor Funding: $250,000
Cancer Type: Blood cancers
Cancer Stage: Diagnosis and treatment
Funded in: 2023

Professor Deborah White

This Translational Research project, focused on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) will provide a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between clinically relevant and important laboratory research findings and the clinic. This translational step is a complex one that is rarely funded. As a result, research findings, despite their proven clinical relevance, stay in the research space. Here, using deep learning algorithms, we will provide an accessible toolkit that integrates all clinical, laboratory, patient outcome and research data on each newly diagnosed patient, into a tool for accurate diagnosis, risk stratification and therapeutic triage.

We have opted to focus on a defined age group of ALL patients, known to be high-risk (the adolescent/young adults) to develop this tool-kit. Once established the Precision ALL Medicine (PALLM-toolkit(tk)) will be expandable to other ALL age groups, and provide a paradigm for other blood cancers.

Our research approaches will be 2-fold, firstly focusing on genomic analyses of ALL where knowledge gained to date has transformed our understanding of the disease complexity, the disease drivers and identified therapeutic targets. Secondly, we will focus on the gut microbiota and altered immune function, to better understand disease progression, and treatment response. These assays, supported by preclinical modelling, will provide a complete picture for each patient, rather than various non-overlapping cohort-based studies.

This TRP will be a game-changer for ALL diagnosis and therapeutic triage that will facilitate more accurate diagnoses, treatment approaches and improved outcomes in this high-risk disease.