Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation Updates: January 2024

January 24, 2024

Potential New Therapeutic Target in T-ALL



Loretta Li, MD
, was recently awarded a two-year grant from the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation focused on validating the PRL2 gene as a new therapeutic target in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Changes in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT signaling pathway in T-ALL are associated with reduced disease free and overall survival. For her project, Dr. Li will assess 1) how PRL2 loss alone or in combination with PTEN loss affects overall survival in T-ALL mouse models; 2) evaluate how changes in PRL2 expression affect T-ALL cell growth and signaling through the PI3K/PTEN/AKT pathway; 3) assess the effectiveness of a PRL2 inhibitor against primary T-ALL patient samples and in mouse models; and 4) determine whether treatment with a PRL2 inhibitor can prolong survival in human T-ALL cells grown in mice .

$1 Million Gift to Support Families at Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Kevin Warren, Chicago Bears President and CEO, and his wife, Greta Warren, announced the Kevin and Greta Warren Family Foundation’s $1 million pledge to Lurie Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. A significant portion of the donation will be allocated to initiatives that directly assist families in managing the logistical and financial burdens associated with their child's treatment journey. The gift will aim to alleviate the day-to-day financial challenges, so that families and caregivers can devote their attention to their child’s care.

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Comprehensive Genetic Counseling and Testing for Cancer Predisposition

The Cancer Predisposition Program at Lurie Children’s provides comprehensive genetic counseling and testing services to pediatric oncology patients and families at risk of hereditary cancer syndromes. Services are also appropriate for adolescent or young adult cancer survivors who would like to investigate their chance of passing on a hereditary cancer risk to their future children.

Welcome to Neuro-Oncologist Miriam Bornhorst

Neuro-Oncologist Miriam Bornhorst, MD, joins Lurie Children’s in January. Her interests are in neurofibromatosis, experimental therapeutics for brain tumor treatment in children with neurofibromatosis, cancer predisposition to brain tumors and genomic profiling of brain tumors. She will be Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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