Preventing leukemia relapse

Zohar SachsIn spite of major advances in treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), relapse is a major cause of death for people with this disease. That’s why Zohar Sachs, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the U’s hematology, oncology, and transplantation faculty, is making it her mission to stop relapse in AML survivors.

With Masonic pilot support, Sachs and her team are using powerful new technologies to find ways to fight leukemia stem cells that contribute to AML recurrence. They recently identified unique molecular features that allow the stem cells to cause relapse and were able to detect stem cells with these features in newly diagnosed patients.

This study marks the first time that researchers have used a technique called single-cell analysis to examine leukemia stem cells in human AML. Sachs and her team hope to build on this work by zeroing in on specific molecules that can be targeted in leukemia stem cells to prevent relapse.

“The support of Minnesota Masonic Charities means I can ask new and important research questions using the latest technological innovations.”

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