Grant Rowe, MD PhD

Children’s Hospital Boston

Targeting leukemia stem cells in infant B-lymphoblastic leukemia

This grant is funded by

A physician scientist at Children’s Hospital Boston, Dr. Grant Rowe is a very busy man! He sees patients and works in a lab. Dr. Rowe is studying leukemia in infants, which is often a very aggressive disease. His Powered by Pablove research project hopes to illuminate how this disease develops and grows so that new therapies can be targeted to treat it. This grant is funded by Change a Life Foundation.

In Dr. Rowe’s own words:

Leukemia is a cancer of white blood cells that are manufactured in the bone marrow. When infants develop leukemia, it is often very aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy. Our understanding of what makes infant leukemia so difficult to treat is limited. Recently, we have begun to understand that not all leukemia cells are the same: there are rare leukemia cells that seem to fuel leukemic growth and that also have the ability to resist chemotherapy so that they can cause leukemia to relapse at a later time. We term these cells ‘leukemic stem cells’ or LSCs. Finding ways to target LSCs with new drugs has the potential to improve our ability to treat infant leukemia. In our preliminary work, we have data to suggest that we have found LSCs in infant leukemia, and the proposed research aims to isolate these cells, confirm that they behave like LSCs, and to study them so that we can figure out how to kill them with new drugs. 

Awarded in 2019