Hematopoietic Development and Malignancy Program (HDMP)

Program Leaders: Daniel Link, MD, PhD, and Peter Westervelt, MD, PhD 

Overview:

The long-term goals of the Hematopoietic Development and Malignancy Program (HDMP) are to identify basic mechanisms regulating normal and malignant hematopoiesis, and develop innovative strategies to prevent, stratify, and treat hematopoietic malignancies. Working groups in leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes/myeloproliferative neoplasms were established to develop, review, prioritize, and conduct translational research. Each working group is organized around three themes: cancer genomics, development of immunotherapies, and cancer biology. The HDMP fosters collaborative translational research and trains junior investigators through research seminars, journal clubs, work-in-progress meetings, and an annual retreat. Program leaders have identified areas of institutional strength and developed four specific translational aims.

Aims:

The HDMP’s research efforts have been organized around four specific aims.

  1. Leverage local expertise in cancer genomics to identify key genetic and epigenetic alterations in hematopoietic malignancies and develop their translational potential.
  2. Develop fundamental discoveries in immunology into novel immunotherapies targeting hematopoietic malignancies. A particular area of focus is the development of novel cellular immunotherapies for hematopoietic malignancies.
  3. Translate fundamental discoveries in cancer cell biology into novel strategies to treat hematopoietic malignancies and/or improve stem cell transplantation.
  4. Identify and develop junior investigators in hematopoietic malignancies.

Facts & Figures:

  • The HDMP has 30 members from three departments at Washington University School of Medicine.
  • HDMP members are supported by $22.4 million direct costs in cancer-related funding, including $5.3 million direct costs from the NCI and $4.5 million direct costs from other peer-reviewed cancer-related funding.
  • HDMP members published 760 papers from 2014-2018, with 20% resulting from inter-programmatic collaborations, 26% from intra-programmatic collaborations, and 30% published in journals with an impact factor ≥10.
  • Basic science translation remains a top priority for the HDMP. In 2014-2018, 25 investigator-initiated clinical trials were developed from fundamental research performed (at least in part) at Siteman Cancer Center, including 22 investigator-initiated therapeutic interventional trials. Total interventional accruals were 2,961, of which 2,761 (93%) were interventional treatment. HDMP members participated in 551 clinical trials involving hematologic malignancies or stem cell transplantation, including 357 interventional trials.
  • The interventional treatment accrual rate (as a function of reported hematologic malignancy index cases) was 38% in 2018.