Getting back to business at renowned leukaemia conference

08 Jun 2022
Getting back to business at renowned leukaemia conference

In an encouraging sign that life is returning to ‘normal’ after COVID-19, a delegation of 18 people represented SAHMRI at the recent New Directions in Leukaemia Research (NDLR) Conference in Brisbane.

This was the first NDLR Conference in almost four years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was attended by 160 people and featured international speakers from the US who participated virtually and Singapore and New Zealand who presented in person.

NDLR poster winners
SAHMRI community members Jacqueline Rehn, Justine Clark and Madeleine Hughes won poster awards at the 2022 NDLR Conference

Members of the SAHMRI delegation played vital roles in the conference including conveners Professor Deb White and Associate Professor Dan Thomas and Organising Committee Member Dr Ilaria Pagani. A/Prof Thomas also made a presentation (Targetable mutation-specific vulnerabilities for myelofibrosis and acute myeloid leukaemia), as did Dr Barb McClure (ZNF384-rearranged B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is potentiated by recurrent genomic lesions susceptible to therapeutic targeting).

Ten people from SAHMRI gave poster presentations with three of them – Justine Clark, Jacqueline Rehn and Madeleine Hughes – featuring among the five poster award winners.

NDLR conferences bring together scientists and clinicians to discuss emerging paradigms and breakthroughs at the forefront of leukaemia research and treatment, from the molecular basis of leukaemia to new therapies emerging in the clinic.

A/Prof Dan Thomas says the gathering is unique in Australia, bringing together the finest blood cancer doctors and scientists to share knowledge, leading to new breakthroughs.

“Meetings like this are extremely important to equip and inspire the next generation of blood cancer researchers,” he said.

“We are planning to bring the meeting to South Australia in 2024, which will be great for our state and for local young scientists.”

Poster Presentations

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Group 

Dr Sue Heatley: Modelling relapsed, refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia from a child with neurofibromatosis 

Dr Elyse Page: High HMGN1 expression predisposes to P2RY8-CRLF2 down syndrome acute lymphoblastic leukaemia 

Charlotte Downes: Acquired JAK2 mutations confer resistance to JAK inhibitors in cell models of a high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia 

Jacqueline Rehn: Rapid screening of RNA-seq for prognostically significant genomic alterations in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia Group

Dr Ilaria Pagani: Mitochondrial DNA mutations are associated with response to imatinib and reduced respiration in chronic myeloid leukaemia patients

Govinda Poudel: Ph+ ALL cell line with PTPN11 mutations is resistant to all TKIs as well as venetoclax but sensitive to the combination

Madeleine Hughes: Targeting oxidative phosphorylation and glutaminolysis to overcome therapy resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia cell lines

Myeloid Metabolism Group

Dr Chloe Thompson-Peach: A calreticulin neoepitope-directed monoclonal antibody can overcome JAK inhibitor resistance and block TPO-independent megakaryocyte differentiation

Myelodysplastic Syndromes Group

Monika Kutyna: Therapy-telated myeloid neoplasm has profoundly senescent stroma and adipogenic defect occurring soon after cytotoxics

Multiple Myeloma Group

Justine Clark: Mer receptor expression promotes myeloma tumour development

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