A Tradition of Leadership
Hematologic malignancies are cancers of the blood that manifest themselves in several ways. The Hematology Program of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has a strong tradition of advanced research focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases. Mayo Clinic's myeloma program is the oldest and largest in the country, and Mayo hematology researchers have been recognized by a number of funding agencies as well as their peers for many discoveries.
The incidence of blood cancers has increased 40 percent in the past two decades, and Mayo investigators will continue leading the research into the causes behind these diseases, and the development of better, targeted treatments.
Members of the program range from nationally- and internationally-recognized investigators to young researchers who demonstrate significant productivity and promise. The Program has multiple areas of expertise including, hematology, genomics and basic sciences, pathology and cytogenetics, immunology and biochemistry.
Four research groups comprise the Hematologic Malignancies Program:
Researchers in these groups are exploring all facets of these diseases, including the causes and genetics behind cancers of the blood, how the cancer progresses, and new treatments such as immune targeting and gene therapy. Investigators work within as well as across the four groups, because studies are often complementary - a better understanding of one disease helps develop better treatment for another. In the Mayo tradition of collaborative work, clinical investigators also meet with basic scientists in other disease-oriented groups for discussion and sharing of knowledge.
The disease oriented groups (DOGs) are designed such that each member lends their particular expertise. Some members provide basic research skills, others provide clinical investigative skills and still others have more experience in direct clinical care. The DOG structure provides significant advantages to the Program's research by spanning all three Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota; taking full advantage of the depth of knowledge across the institution. The Program's six DOGs are:
In addition to working within the Program's groups, researchers also work with other Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Programs on specific projects. For example, researchers in Hematologic Malignancies are collaborating with Gene and Virus Therapy Program members on research involving the measles virus in treatment of myeloma. These interactions enhance the abilities of both programs to meet their goals and remain on the cutting edge of cancer research.
The Hematologic Malignancies Program has three major scientific goals, to:
Mayo Clinic hematologists receive significant funding for their research programs principally from the National Institutes of Health, but also through foundations and industry. In 2007, Program researchers had 48 individual grants or projects. Other funding highlights include:
Mayo hematologists published nearly 300 papers in peer reviewed journals during the past year. They entered over 100 patients on clinical trials investigating new treatment programs. Mayo hematologists play key roles in national cooperative groups and many are recognized internationally for their work.
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