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Congratulations on winning the prestigious Abstract Achievement Award

We are happy to announce that Luca Nunzio Cifarelli, senior PhD student in the Institute for Experimental Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (EPHO) of the Goethe-University Frankfurt, has been granted a prestigious merit-based abstract achievement award by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) acknowledging his accomplishments as hematologist-in-training. Luca has been selected for oral presentation of the results of the project “TRIP13 Is a Fetal-Enriched Therapeutic Target in NUP98::JARID1A+ Pediatric Non-Down Syndrome AMKL” during the 65th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition which took place from December 9-12, 2023, in San Diego, California.

The study which is led by Prof. Dr. Dirk Heckl, Director of the EPHO, focused on the molecular mechanisms of chromosomal rearrangements as the main drivers of pediatric Acute Megakaryoblastic Leukemia in absence of Down syndrome (non-DS-AMKL) and potential underlying weaknesses, which could be exploited therapeutically. AMKL with NUP98::KDM5A rearrangement (aka. NUP98::JARID1A) accounts for approximately 15% of pediatric non-DS-AMKL cases and correlates with poor prognosis. Its frequent occurrence in infants (disease within 2 years post birth) implies a role of developmental stage-(i.e. fetal origin) dependent mechanisms in transformation and, indeed, the study highlights a more aggressive course of disease when initiated in fetal cells. Moreover, fetal gene expression programs are conserved in transformed cells. Aiming to therapeutically exploit this fetal origin, the study identified and characterized TRIP13 as a fetal-enriched NUP98::JARID1A-specific vulnerability, mechanistically acting through p53 regulation. The results of the project will contribute to the development of a mechanism-driven treatment approach with dual TRIP13/MDM2 inhibition as a potential new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of high-risk pediatric non-DS-AMKL.

If you are interested, you can find the abstract under this link.


Photo (f.l.): Mr. Prof. Olaf Heidenreich, Mr. Prof. Ani Deshpande, Mr. MSc Luca Nunzio Cifarelli


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