Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto – Translational Research Grant
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Dr. Sakamoto sends her most heartfelt and sincerest “thank you” to all the members of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation for their dedication and commitment to children with cancer. She has been studying the causes of acute leukemia in children for over 20 years! PCRF is supporting Dr. Sakamoto’s recent interest in developing new therapies for relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). About 40% of children with AML and 20% of children with ALL will relapse. The majority of children with relapsed AML and ALL do not survive. Most of the therapies are very intense and result in significant long-term effects even in children who are cured. Dr. Sakamoto’s goal is to bring new drugs to children with relapsed acute leukemia. One of the drugs being studied is a small molucule that blocks the action of a protein known as CREB. CREB is over produced in AML cells in patients and this is associated with a worse prognosis. She is making progress in not only understanding how these new drugs work, but also, studying how to best use these drugs in patients. Her hope is to improve the overall survival of children with relapsed leukemia so that they will live healthy and productive lives.