A major focus of team is to characterize the interaction of leukemia-initiating cells / pre-leukemic clones with the microenvironment of the BM and the consecutive bidirectional sequelae. Along these lines, we have developed highly innovative 2D and 3D co-culture models as well as PDX models to delineate the impact of the stromal environment on the leukemogenesis and disease persistence. This includes interrogating the role of MSC-derived ECM and cell-cell interactions in patients with AML and MDS. The work programme also includes developing strategies to improve the effectiveness of immunotherapeutic approaches including allogeneic HCT, bispecific T cell engagers and CAR T cell therapies (Lancet Oncol 2012, Stem Cells 2016, NEJM 2017, Lancet Haematol 2019 and Blood 2020)11-15,19-22.
The Transcampus cooperation with KCL PIs focusses on Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and their clinical use, the in depth characterization of AML progenitors and the optimization of cell-based immunotherapies.