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Edward Allan Sison M.D. 
Funded: 07-01-2011 through 06-30-2013
Funding Type: St. Baldrick's Fellow
Institution Location: Baltimore, MD
Institution: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine affiliated with Johns Hopkins Children's Center

Leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells, is the most common cancer in children. While a majority can expect to be cured with chemotherapy, a significant number either never go into remission, or relapse. One theory as to why certain leukemias do this is that normal, non-cancerous cells in the bone marrow can help small populations of leukemia cells evade chemotherapy-induced death, leading to relapse. This research project focusing on a protein called CXCR4, is to find a way to make chemotherapy more effective and may lead directly to clinical trials in children with high-risk leukemias that will improve cure rates.