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09 October 2023

King's leads transatlantic consortium to advance immune-monitoring of blood cancer

King’s will lead institutions across Europe and the US in a new consortium to standardise and improve how we monitor the blood cancer Myelodysplastic Neoplasms.

Myelodysplastic Neoplasms consortium

King’s will lead a new transatlantic consortium backed by The European Haematology Association (EHA) to standardise immune monitoring for a type of blood cancer known as Myelodysplastic Neoplasms (MDS).

Dr Shahram Kordasti will lead the i4MDS consortium involving 27 centres from 10 countries in Europe and the United States, which will aim to utilise international expertise to foster a deeper understanding of the immune mechanisms underlying MDS. This, in turn, will aid efforts in drug development towards its treatment.

MDS is a type of blood cancer where immature blood cells are unable to develop into mature, healthy blood cells. This affects red blood cells, as well as the white blood cells of the immune system.

The role of the immune system in the pathophysiology of MDS is firmly established. However, routine immune monitoring for these patients is still not a common practice. Furthermore, a universally accepted protocol for which components of the immune system should be monitored is yet to be agreed upon.

To address these gaps, the MDS Immune Monitoring Meeting was convened in London between February 10-11 with Dr Shahram Kordasti as one of the meeting’s leaders. In a unanimous decision, the formation of the International Integrative Innovative Immunology for MDS (i4MDS) initiative, a consortium aimed at advancing MDS treatment and understanding, was agreed upon.

I am very excited to be part of this crucial and promising initiative. Given the expertise within the i4MDS consortium, I am confident that we can execute essential immune monitoring approaches and more effectively stratify MDS patients to receive the most fitting immune-modulating treatments.”

Dr Shahram Kordasti, Reader and Group Leader in Applied Cancer Immunopathology

The i4MDS consortium will closely collaborate to devise proposals for immune monitoring at the clinical level for MDS patients, while also working toward implementing validated immune signatures (signs of cancer from the immune system) in identifying which MDS patients are currently at the greatest risk of adverse outcomes.

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Shahram  Kordasti

Reader and Group Leader in Applied Cancer Immunopathology