University of Alberta
Assessment of minimal residual disease in patients undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia using an in vivo xenotransplantation model
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is an aggressive blood cancer. About 80% of people can achieve a remission with our standard treatments but the majority of patients will relapse and die from their disease. Only about 40% of patients under the age of 60 and about 10-15% of patients over the age of 60 live for more than 5 years. These relapses are thought to happen because of leukemia cells that are left over after the initial treatments. Despite our best efforts to find these leukemia cells we have been unsuccessful in predicting whose leukemia is going to come back and whose is not. For this grant we are proposing an entirely new way of finding leukemia cells. Instead of trying to find leukemia in a lab using test tubes and machines we want to take the bone marrow from patients (bone marrow is where leukemia is found) and inject this into mice that are used for leukemia research. If the mice develop leukemia then we know that the patient still has leftover leukemia-causing cells and still has the potential to have leukemia come back. For these patients we can potentially offer other treatments.