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Project TitleRapid Determination of Risk in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Track Code15123
Short Description

Rapid and cost-effective single assay implementing stem cell gene expression for estimation of survival and prediction of therapy resistance in acute myeloid leukemia


Leukemia stem cell (LSC) properties contribute to therapy resistance and relapse in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). AML patient xenotransplants showed 17 genes differentially expressed between LSC positive and LSC negative biopsies. To extract the degree of stem cell behavior, the LSC gene expression and survival rates yield a score (LSC17). The LSC17 score provides clinicians with a rapid and powerful tool for identification of AML patients who cannot be diagnosed using current methods such as white blood cell count and cytogenetics.  The score is applicable to all AML subtypes and is useful as a prognostic indicator providing early patient outcome so that doctors can select the most effective treatment. 


A score calculated as the weighted sum of expression of 17 LSC signature genes was strongly associated with survival in 4 independent datasets spanning all risk categories in multi-variate analysis; an optimized 3-gene sub-score was prognostic in favorable risk subsets. These scores were robust across industry platforms.

TagsAML, cancer, LSC, stem cells, diagnostics, biomarkers, acute myeloid leukemia, PMCC, Rapid Determination of Risk in Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, leukemia, stem cell, drug stratification
Posted DateJun 9, 2017 1:37 PM

Potential Applications

  • Prediction of response to initial chemotherapy

  • Real-time monitoring of treatment

  • Novel early-stage risk reduction strategies

Principal Investigator

Dr. Jean C.Y. Wang, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network

Project Status and Next Steps

Clinical trial at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to further validate the test

Patent Status

Provisional patent application (US62/292,254) titled, “A 17-gene LSC-specific signature predicts outcome in AML”, filed with the effective date February 6th, 2016.

Partnering Opportunity

Licensing and collaborations


Ng, W.K.A. et al, A 17-gene stemness score for rapid determination of risk in actute leukemia. Nature 540, 433-437 (2016)

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