Dr Tomasz Stokłosa group is studying mechanisms of drug resistance in tumors with the main focus on haematological malignancies.
Recent advances in the targeted treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), such as imatinib and second-generation compounds (e.g. dasatinib and nilotinib), represent one of the most successful stories in cancer treatment. However significant number of patients may not benefit from this therapy due to drug resistance which remains one of the major obstacles in the successful treatment of neoplastic diseases. Aberrant DNA damage response in tumor cells may be one of the major causes of drug resistance.
Dr Stokłosa team in collaboration with international partners has been studying for several years dysfunction of DNA repair mechanisms in chronic myeloid leukemia with special focus on leukemia stem cells. Recently we have also started project related to another common hematologic malignancy, namely chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), in which such progress in therapy as in CML has not been achieved yet. CLL remains the most often diagnosed leukaemia in adults and there is no curative treatment for this disease.
Recently, several novel mechanisms of tumour progression as well as potential targets were characterized in this disease giving an opportunity to propose new treatment approaches. There are several observations in the recent literature showing that TKI might be effective in CLL, however detailed mechanisms of action and potential markers of sensitivity to these drugs are missing. Therefore, we plan to investigate potential pathways and targets for TKIs in CLL cells, employing gene expression profiling (GEP) analysis (to obtain molecular signature).
Dr Stokłosa team is also planning to use newly-acquired next-generation sequencing platform for exome sequencing to find new genetic aberrations in haematological malignancies such as CML and CLL and in other human tumors. It is worth to add that all dr Stokłosa research activities aim to foster the interdisciplinary training of young researchers.