Acute myeloid leukemia is a particularly lethal type of cancer among young people, with most dying within two years of being diagnosed. At the moment, analyzing cancer cell chromosomes is the best way to determine the prognosis for patients. Unfortunately, about 45 per cent of those tested show no anomalies, leaving doctors with little information to go on. Recent developments in DNA sequencing, however, allow for a more complete analysis of these tumors.
Drs. Guy Sauvageau, Josée Hébert and team will use personalized DNA from patients to determine how they should be treated, based on the specific genetic makeup of their tumors. This will lead to better diagnosis and improved outcomes for patients. They are also developing new models for tracking cancer cells that are left behind after a patient is treated. These cancer stem cells can multiply over time and lead to a relapse. This research could lead to new ways of preventing such relapses by providing new insights into the biology of this disease.