Mapping leukemia for more effective treatment

Acute leukemia can be caused by many different genetic changes in blood-forming stem cells. Wallenberg Clinical Scholar Thoas Fioretos will use cutting-edge technology to map leukemia cells and understand the various aspects of the disease. The aim is to find clues to more targeted and effective forms of treatment.

Wallenberg Clinical Scholar 2018

Thoas Fioretos, chief physician and professor at the Department of Clinical Genetics 

Lund University

Acute leukemia can be divided into two main groups: acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which primarily affects adults, and acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL), which is more common among children. Most children survive the disease, but mortality is relatively high among adults because treatments cannot reach the leukemia initiating stem cells in the bone marrow that may cause a relapse.

Thoas Fioretos, chief physician and professor at the Department of Clinical Genetics, Lund University, is working on improving clinical diagnostics and on developing more targeted treatments for leukemia. As a Wallenberg Clinical Scholar, he will develop new methods to improve diagnostics, treatment selection, and follow-up of patients diagnosed with leukemia. The project will also provide important insights into why leukemia develops.

Another central area of the project is detailed studies of the leukemia-initating stem cells in the bone marrow, for the purpose of finding an Achilles heel that can be attacked using new pharmaceuticals. This may prevent relapses and allow more patients to survive.

Photo: Markus Marcetic