Laboratory for Genetics of Malignant Disorders
The discovery and functional characterization of new, recurrent cytogenetic or molecular aberrations in malignant disorders are the most important research objectives of the laboratory for Genetics of Malignant Disorders. These research objectives connect almost seamlessly with the diagnostic, cytogenetic and molecular services which CME-UZ offers for nearly each malignant pathology: acute and chronic leukaemia, lymphomas, mesenchymal and epithelial tumors. The extensive bio-archive of relevant and well characterized pathological material that has been built up in the course of these activities forms an important asset. For this research we use the more traditional cytogenetic and molecular methods and the new genome-wide technologies (array CGH, SNP arrays, massive parallel sequencing,…). The identification of new recurrent mutations in malignant disorders allows the development of new tools for diagnosis and/or prediction of prognosis of specific malignant disorders. Above all, new recurrent mutations frequently shed new light on the specific biological mechanisms underlying malignant transformation, and are thus very well suited for development of targeted therapy.
Our current research domains are:
- Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- T-cell lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, and Hodgkin’s lymphom
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors
The research program for cancer genetics examines the molecular-genetic mechanisms underlying the origin of cancer, as well as its biological diversity and complexity. It searches for new insights in the many ways normal cellular behavior can transform into malignant behaviour. On these grounds the program wants to develop new molecular targets for specific therapy. The intensive interaction between basic research and clinical research in the group, and the many contacts with the involved disciplines inside and outside UZ Leuven, form important assets of this research program.