Nencki Institute Seminar

Dear All,

This Thursday, October 21st, at 3pm, prof. Katarzyna Piwocka who leads the Laboratory of Cytometry at the Nencki Institute, will give a lecture entitled: Understanding and shaping the leukemic microenvironment

Abstract

Leukemias are blood cancers that develop from stem or progenitor cells of the hematopoietic lineage.  According to the WHO and European Society for Medical Oncology, myeloid neoplasms, such as Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), altogether represent one of the most common leukemias in adults (up to 80%). Even if successful therapies including tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been introduced for the chronic phase of leukemia, they are not effective in the acute stages, leading to disease relapse. Especially for highly heterogenic and resistant AML, little improvement has been achieved over the past few decades. The main obstacle to cure leukemia is development of the resistance, genetic clonal heterogeneity, immunosuppressive immune system and inability to efficiently eliminate leukemia stem cells. Thus, development of personalized, effective therapies to specifically treat myeloid leukemias with the resistant phenotype, is an urgent need and a prospective direction of future research and drug development field. There are indications from different studies including ours that cancer microenvironment strongly supports clonal expansion, disease progression and the resistance. Bone marrow stroma, which is a major niche for leukemic cells, provides a very specific microenvironment, characterized by the presence of different cell types and conditions, which are modified during development of cancer. Leukemic cells rapidly react to the changes in their microenvironment, what leads to dynamic reshaping of the intercellular communication via direct or indirect interactions, activation of adaptative cytoprotective signaling pathways, remodeling of transcriptome and proteome. Therefore, understanding the cross-talk within the leukemia microenvironment is necessary to develop therapies which will overcome or attenuate the resistance mechanisms and efficiently eradicate leukemic cells. In this talk, I will discuss interactions between bone marrow stromal and leukemic cells as well as prosurvival signaling activated in leukemic cells in response to unfavorable microenvironmental conditions, which all support the resistance to therapy. Moreover, I will present our findings in which we propose novel personalized therapeutic strategies that target microenvironment-dependent mechanisms, to efficiently eliminate highly resistant leukemia cells.

The meeting will take place in hybrid mode.

Please join us either in person (number of seats will be limited, wearing a mask will of course be mandatory), or connect with us via zoom using the following link:

https://zoom.us/j/98222231110?pwd=Uyt6Q29BaGlLSXBsUnJRQnpWc0pJZz09

Meeting ID: 982 2223 1110
Passcode: 795926

Best regards,
Aleksandra Pekowska