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Stefanie Kreutmair, MD

Experimental Immunology, University Zürich, Switzerland

Project: The immune environment of acute myeloid leukemia

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common hematologic malignancy in adults. It is characterized by poor outcome with an overall 5-year-survival of only 50% in young patients and 20% in elderly patients. As the curative potential of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is dependent on immunotherapeutic effects (graft-versus-leukemia effects), immune evasion seems to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of AML. A comprehensive research program using highdimensional single cell cytometry combined with bioinformatic analyses represents a powerful tool to gain deep and unbiased insights into the immune signatures of AML patients. Immune patterns that predict response may be integrated into the stratification of AML, particularly in the absence of predictive genetic markers. To verify the impact of the identified signatures, detailed functional analyses of patient mononuclear cells will be performed in vitro to investigate the effect of cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic alterations on anti-AML immunity. The ultimate goal is to identify novel stratifying biomarkers and/or therapeutic targets to overcome immune evasion of AML cells and achieve improved patient outcome.

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