Damon Runyon Researchers

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Elli Papaemmanuil, PhD

Cancer survivors are at a higher risk of developing blood cancers than the general population due to the toxic effects of the treatments used to fight their cancer. Therapy-related blood cancers are often resistant to existing drugs and therefore extremely challenging to treat. Contrary to previous thought, recent studies show that the mutations causing these blood cancers can be identified in patients' blood many years before they received therapy. Dr. Papaemmanuil has discovered that the existing mutations alone are not sufficient to cause therapy-related cancer but require the acquisition of additional mutations that affect large segments of the DNA or "allelic imbalances." She will pursue further studies to screen patients and understand the mechanisms of therapy-related blood cancers. These findings will inform clinical strategies of early detection and targeted intervention to better treat this aggressive disease.

Project title: "Biological and clinical implications of allelic imbalances in clonal hematopoiesis and subsequent risk of therapy related leukemia"
Institution: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Award Program: Innovator
Cancer Type: Blood, All Cancers
Research Area: Cancer Genetics