Doctoral fellow - laboratory of Tom Taghon (Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Tom Taghon (PhD)
Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), is the most prevalent blood cancer in children. Due to the heterogeneity of its mutational profile, it is the genetic landscape that determines the treatment and prognosis of individual patients. Based on the lymphocytic lineage affected, we recognize B-ALL and T-ALL, where B cells and T cells, respectively, have undergone malignant transformation.
Early T cell precursors (ETP) are multipotent progenitors of T cells which give rise to mature T cells in the thymus. Their malignant transformation results in the development of Early T cell precursor Acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ETP-ALL), a type of T-ALL with poor prognosis. The underlying mechanisms of ETP-ALL emergence remain poorly understood, which results in unsuccessful treatment and recurrent relapses.
GATA3 is an important transcriptional regulator involved in the early development of T cells, particularly in their T cell fate commitment, and mutations of GATA3 are observed in a subset of ETP-ALL cases. For this reason, we aim to describe the role of GATA3 and its mutations in T-cell development, as well as in the malignant transformation, to define new potential targets of ETP-ALL treatment and improve the overall prognosis of patients.