Childhood Cancer

Computer-Based Learning to Improve Treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 29, 2013

As part of the St. Baldrick’s summer grants, Phoenix Children’s Hospital received a $1 million, two-year grant as part of the Pathway Directed Treatment for Refractory AML Consortium, a group of institutions across the country committed to finding ways to better treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML). If AML does not respond to chemotherapy after relapse, chances for survival are low, leading to poorer survival rates than other forms of childhood cancer.

The team, led by Dr. Robert Arceci, medical director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children’s, has identified important changes in AML that can be exploited to develop more effective and less toxic treatments using new types of drugs.

“Our hope is to change the manner in which treatments are used and tested so that they target the complex changes that are responsible for driving the leukemia,” Dr. Arceci explains. “We will apply a computer-based learning approach to improve our understanding of why some forms of leukemia respond to treatments and others do not, thus leading to a continuous improvement of our ability to more effectively treat patients.”

Dr. Arceci also serves as co-director of the Ronald A. Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, a collaboration with Translational Genomics Institute and University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix dedicated to unlocking genetic codes and developing drug therapies in real time to improve the outcome for thousands of young patients diagnosed with cancer.

Learn more about the 2013 Summer Grants.

2013 Summer Grants