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Group Burmeister

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Group Burmeister

Molecular analysis of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Research Area

Leukemias are rare diseases. However, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most frequent malignant disease in childhood and among adolescents. The prognosis of the different leukemias has improved significantly during the last decades. The reason for this improvement lies in advanced therapy studies and refined diagnostic techniques. The advanced therapy studies were based on findings from previous studies that have provided a deeper insight into the molecular pathogenesis of these diseases. It has become evident that leukemias, despite their rarity, show extraordinary heterogeneity on the molecular level.

Insights into the molecular basis of leukemias are often of clinical interest. Patients with the same disease but different underlying molecular aberrations may have a totally different clinical course and should therefore receive different therapy regimens. Moreover, a better understanding of the molecular basis may enable the development of targeted therapies, as impressively demonstrated in AML with fusion gene PML-RARA or in CML/ALL with fusion gene BCR-ABL.

Our research focuses mainly on the molecular analysis of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We are investigating different molecular alterations in ALL with regard to their ultrastructural features, prognostic implications, and potential use as target structures for detecting minimal residual disease (MRD). Specific focuses of interest are Burkitt-type ALL, ALL with MLL translocations and BCR-ABL-positive ALL. Another research object is the analysis of exogenous and endogenous retroviruses and their potential involvement in malignant diseases.

Figure of Genetic alterations in adult ALL
Genetic alterations in adult ALL

Funded projects

  • DFG: Projekt BU 2453/1-1
  • Deutsche Krebshilfe: Project 10-1899-Bu I
  • Berliner Krebsgesellschaft: Project BUFF200603
  • Alfred und Angelika Gutermuth-Stiftung: Projects 2007-5, 2009-5, 2011-5, 2012-4
  • Deutsche José Carreras Leukämiestiftung: Projects R 06/22, R 10/37f, R 12/09

Selected Publications

Results 1 to 10 of total 12

Results 1 to 10 of total 12