Volume 2.07 | Feb 22

Hematopoiesis News 2.07, February 22, 2011.
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY
Erg Gene Key to Blood Stem Cell ‘Self-Renewal’
Scientists have begun to unravel how blood stem cells regenerate themselves, identifying a key gene required for the process. The discovery that the Erg gene is vitally important to blood stem cells’ unique ability to self-renew could give scientists new opportunities to use blood stem cells for tissue repair, transplantation and other therapeutic applications. [Press release from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute discussing online prepublication in Genes and Development]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Scientists Bioengineer a Protein to Fight Leukemia
Scientists have identified a protein called CD19-ligand (CD19-L) located on the surface of certain white blood cells that facilitates the recognition and destruction of leukemia cells by the immune system. This work represents the first report of a bioengineered version of CD19-L, a recombinant human biotherapeutic agent, targeting CD19-positive leukemic stem cells. [Press release from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles discussing online prepublication in the British Journal of Haematology]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

LABORATORY RESEARCH

ERG Dependence Distinguishes Developmental Control of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Maintenance from Hematopoietic Specification
Using in vitro and in vivo models of hematopoiesis and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) development, researchers provide strong evidence that ERG is at the center of a distinct regulatory program that is not required for hematopoietic specification or differentiation but is critical for HSC maintenance during embryonic development. [Genes Dev]

cpsf1 Is Required for Definitive Hematopoietic Stem Cell Survival in Zebrafish
To identify novel genes involved in hematopoiesis, researchers performed an ENU mutagenesis screen in zebrafish looking for mutants with defective definitive hematopoiesis. [Blood]

JAK2 Rearrangements, Including the Novel SEC31A-JAK2 Fusion, Are Recurrent in Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
The finding of a JAK2-involving t(4;9)(q21;p24) in one case of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) prompted investigators to characterize this translocation on a molecular level and to determine the prevalence of JAK2 rearrangements in cHL. [Blood]

Ectopic Expression of Nup98-HoxA10 Augments Erythroid Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists demonstrate that expression of NUP98-HOXA10hd in human embryonic stem cells influences the hematopoietic differentiation program. [Stem Cells]

The Self-Association Coiled-Coil Domain of PML Is Sufficient for the Oncogenic Conversion of the Retinoic Acid Receptor (RAR) Alpha
The promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) coiled-coil domain represents the minimal structural determinant indispensable to transform RAR alpha into an oncogenic protein. [Leukemia]

Targeted Inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 by Active-Site mTOR Inhibitors Has Cytotoxic Effects in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Scientists explored the therapeutic potential of active-site mammaliam Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors against both T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cell lines and primary samples from T-ALL patients displaying activation of mTORC1 and mTORC2. [Leukemia]

Prdm14 Initiates Lymphoblastic Leukemia After Expanding a Population of Cells Resembling Common Lymphoid Progenitors
Investigators show that Prdm14 is overexpressed in ~25% of human lymphoid neoplasms, with increased frequencies in T-cell acute lymphoid leukemias (LL) and hyperdiploid precursor B-cell acute LL. [Oncogene]

Recombinant Human CD19-Ligand Protein as a Potent Anti-Leukemic Agent
Researchers report the cloning and characterization of a novel 54-kDa high-mobility group-box protein as the ligand for the human pan-B cell co-receptor CD19, which interacts with the extracellular domain of CD19 in trans. [Br J Haematol]

CLINICAL RESEARCH

RUNX1 Mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Results from a Comprehensive Genetic and Clinical Analysis from the AML Study Group
Acute myeloid leukemias with RUNX1 mutations are characterized by distinct genetic properties and are associated with resistance to therapy and inferior outcome. [J Clin Oncol]
 
TET2 Mutations Improve the New European LeukemiaNet Risk Classification of Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Cancer and Leukemia Group B Study
TET2 mutations improve the European LeukemiaNet (ELN) molecular-risk classification in primary cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia because of their adverse prognostic impact in an otherwise favorable-risk patient subset. The data suggest that these patients may be candidates for alternative therapies. [J Clin Oncol]

Overexpression of IL-3R Alpha on CD34+CD38- Stem Cells Defines Leukemia-Initiating Cells in FA AML
Researchers attempted to identify cell surface markers for leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) in Fanconi anemia (FA) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Results demonstrate that interleukin-3 receptor alpha (IL-3R alpha) is a cell surface marker present on FA AML-LIC and may be a valuable therapeutic target. [Blood]

INDUSTRY NEWS
$1.5 Million Gift Establishes Jan & Mace Siegel Professorship in Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope
Real estate magnate and longtime City of Hope supporter Mace Siegel has pledged more than $1.5 million to endow the Jan and Mace Siegel Professorship in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at City of Hope. Auayporn Nademanee, M.D., associate clinical director of the Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, has been named the first Jan and Mace Siegel Professor in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. [City of Hope Press Release]

Vidaza® Receives Positive Final Appraisal Determination from National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for Use in the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales
Celgene International Sàrl announced that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has issued a Final Appraisal Determination recommending VIDAZA within its licensed indication, as an option for the treatment of patients in England and Wales with myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia. [Celgene Corporation Press Release]

Researching Regenerative Medicine
A new facility at the University of Manitoba will allow researchers to pursue cutting-edge work in the field of regenerative medicine, which could lead to important new treatments for patients. The university’s Regenerative Medicine Program is the first of its kind in Western Canada. [University of Manitoba Press Release]
 
Older Patients with Leukemia and Lymphoma Get Fighting Chance
As the first baby boomers turn 65, Loyola University Hospital has begun offering stem cell transplants to leukemia and lymphoma patients who previously were too old to qualify. [Loyola University Health System Press Release]
POLICY NEWS

National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)
 
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)
 
European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)

EVENTS

NEW Physicians’ Education Resource: Current Trends in Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma
February 26, 2011
Pasadena, United States

NEW Advanced Immunohematology & Molecular Symposium (AIMS)
April 29-30, 2011
Las Vegas, United States

NEW Duke Debates – Controversies in the Management of Patients with Hematologic Malignancies
April 29-May 1, 2011
Asheville, United States

NEW BioBanking
July 11-12, 2011
London, United Kingdom

Visit
our events page to see a complete list of events in the hematopoietic community.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)

Field Applications Specialist – Cell Therapy (Medical) (Pall Corporation)

Postdoctoral Position – Germline Stem Cells (R. L. Brinster, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

Process Technical Development Scientist (Stem Cells, Inc.)

Quality Assurance Specialist – Gene Transfer & Somatic Cell Engineering Facility (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

Hematologist (NorthShore University Health System Medical Group)

Manager Clinical Affairs (Bioheart, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Bone and Hematopoiesis (New York University)

Research Associate (University of Massachusetts Medical School)

Associate Scientist (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

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