Background Overview

Therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML) is a particularly cruel and ironic cancer, one that is caused by cancer treatment itself. Typically, t-AML patients have celebrated success over their initial disease, only to learn that the treatment that wiped out their malignancy has actually caused a subsequent, uniformly fatal cancer. There are no effective treatment options, and no survivors after five years.

Thanks to medical advances, the population of cancer survivors has reached 14 million in the United States alone and is growing, but that success also means that an increasing number of people are at risk for developing t-AML.

From left to right: Dr. Harinder Singh, Dr. Michelle Le Beau, Dr. John Cunningham, Alexandra Nikitas, and Dr. Kevin White

The Cancer Research Foundation (CRF) has generously provided the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center with an initial gift of $3 million dollars to launch an all-out assault on t-AML that is unprecedented in its scope, sophistication, and integration. The CRF is an Illinois 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation, operating in Chicago, that is committed to funding innovative laboratory and clinical cancer research projects in Chicago medical centers. Since its inception in the 1950s, the CRF has supported the University of Chicago cancer programs.

“The Cancer Research Foundation is committed to supporting new ideas in cancer research that have the potential to develop into major breakthroughs in the battle against cancer, and we believe that this project represents a major opportunity to push cancer science forward.”

CRF Executive Director Alexandra Nikitas