Research Updates

From left to right: Drs. Kenan Onel, Giuseppe Leone (the organizer of the Symposium), Richard Larson, and Michelle Le Beau.

Dr. Kenan Onel and his colleagues have recently discovered genetic variations that can predict the risk for developing secondary cancers in pediatric patients undergoing radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Nearly 20 percent of these patients develop secondary cancers within 30 years of treatment.  Dr. Onel found that secondary cancers were strongly associated with genetic variations resulting in decreased expression of the PRDM1 gene after radiation exposure.  These findings indicate a role for PRDM1 as a radiation-responsive tumor suppressor, and are important for understanding the development of secondary tumors in cancer patients treated with radiation therapy.  View a University of Chicago press release about this study.

Through the generous support of the Cancer Research Foundation, University of Chicago researchers are making significant progress toward deciphering the genetic complexities of therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML) using a systems biology approach. Over the past year, six talented and multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and clinicians have gained considerable insight into the biology of t-AML and are using this information to develop improved treatment strategies.

2010/2011 Research Highlights