Childhood Cancer

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Single-cell Profiling of Early T-cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Institution: 
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Researcher(s): 
David Teachey, MD
Grant Type: 
Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas Grant
Year Awarded: 
2019
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
Leukemia
Project Description: 

Lay Summary: Early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP ALL) is a type of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Children with ETP ALL and non-ETP T-ALL have a similar chance to be cured. But, children with ETP ALL are more likely than children with non-ETP T-ALL not to respond to therapy. Children with non-ETP T-ALL are more likely to respond to therapy and then have the leukemia come back (relapse) than children with ETP ALL. We do not understand why some children with ETP ALL do not respond to treatment. We also do not understand why children with ETP ALL and non-ETP T-ALL respond differently to therapy. ETP ALL and non-ETP T-ALL are cancers of T-cells. Even though ETP ALL is a T-cell leukemia it shares many features with different types of leukemia such as acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and T-myeloid mixed-phenotype acute leukemia (TM-MPAL). We need to understand better how ETP is similar to and different from other types of leukemia. This may help us make better treatments.

Lay Summary Project Goal: We will perform genetic testing at a single-cell level in different types of leukemia and compare them. Not all leukemia cells in a patient are the same. Single-cell level sequencing helps us better understand what causes leukemia. We will perform single-cell sequencing on cells collected from 30 children with ETP ALL. We will test cells from 10 children with ETP ALL who responded to medicines and were cured. We will also test the cells from 10 children with ETP ALL who failed to respond to medicines and 10 children with ETP ALL who responded to medicines but relapsed. We will also perform single-cell sequencing on cells collected from 10 children with AML, 10 children with TM-MPAL, and 10 children with T-ALL. We will compare the results from these other leukemias with the results in ETP ALL. This proposed work may help us better understand ETP ALL and other forms of leukemia in children. It may help us identify new things that will help us develop new treatments. Our hope is this work will lead to more cures for children with leukemia.