H. Daniel Lacorazza, Ph.D.


Baylor College of Medicine
Role of proliferation in the pathogenesis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

In spite of successful management of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a fifth of diagnosed patients relapse after induction treatment. We propose to test the hypothesis that a deregulated response to childhood infections can induce expansion of pre-leukemic cells and overt leukemia. We previously described a gene that controls proliferation of T cells during homeostasis and following infection or vaccination. We plan to investigate whether gene deletion primes pre-leukemic cells to expand upon activation of the immune system and/or increases resistance of leukemia-initiating cells to chemodrugs. This project will provide a molecular framework to design adjunctive therapies in high-risk patients.