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

Burmeister T, Gröger D, Bartels G, Trautmann H, Schwartz S, Lenz K, Tietze-Bürger C, Viardot A, Wäsch R, Horst HA, Reinhard R, Gökbuget N, Hoelzer D, Kneba M, Brüggemann M
Germline variants in IKZF1, ARID5B, and CEBPE as an analysis rom th GMALL study group..
Haematol 2014; 99(2):e23-e25.
Burmeister T, Molkentin M, Schwartz S, Gökbuget N, Hoelzer D, Thiel E, Reinhardt R
Erroneous class switching and false VDJ recombination.
Mol Concol 2013; 7(4):850-858.
Türkmen S, Timmermann B, Bartels G, Gröger D, Meyer C, Schwartz S, Haferlach C, Rieder H, Gökbuget N, Hoelzer D, Marschalek R, Burmeister T.
Involvement of the MLL gene in adult T-lymphoblastic leukemia..
Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2012; 51(12):1114-24.
Kroenlein H, Schwartz S, Reinhardt R, Rieder H, Molkentin M, Gökbuget N, Hoelzer D, Thiel E, Burmeister T.
Molecular analysis of the t(2;8)/MYC-IGK translocation in high-grade lymphoma/leukemia by long-distance inverse PCR..
Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2012; 51(3):290-9.
Burmeister T, Gröger D, Kühn A, Hoelzer D, Thiel E, Reinhardt R.
Fine structure of translocation breakpoints within the major breakpoint region in BCR-ABL1-positive leukemias..
DNA Repair (Amst). 201; 10(11):1131-7.
Burmeister T, Ebert AD, Pritze W, Loddenkemper C, Schwartz S, Thiel E.
Insertional polymorphisms of endogenous HERV-K113 and HERV-K115 retroviruses in breast cancer patients and age-matched controls..
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2004; 20(11):1223-9.
Burmeister T, Schwartz S, Hummel M, Hoelzer D, Thiel E.
No genetic evidence for involvement of Deltaretroviruses in adult patients with precursor and mature T-cell neoplasms..
Retrovirology. 2007; 4:11.
Burmeister T, Schwartz S, Horst HA, Rieder H, Gökbuget N, Hoelzer D, Thiel E.
Molecular heterogeneity of sporadic adult Burkitt-type leukemia/lymphoma as revealed by PCR and cytogenetics: correlation with morphology, immunology and clinical features..
Leukemia. 2005; 19(8):1391-8.
Burmeister T, Marschalek R, Schneider B, Meyer C, Gökbuget N, Schwartz S, Hoelzer D, Thiel E.
Monitoring minimal residual disease by quantification of genomic chromosomal breakpoint sequences in acute leukemias with MLL aberrations..
Leukemia. 2006; 20(3):451-7.
Burmeister T, Gökbuget N, Reinhardt R, Rieder H, Hoelzer D, Schwartz S.
NUP214-ABL1 in adult T-ALL: the GMALL study group experience..
Blood. 2006; 108(10):3556-9.