Presentation Title

Impact of Hormone Stimulation on Acute Leukemias

Presenter's Name(s)

Emma M. GoldenFollow

Project Collaborators

Dr. Jessica L. Heath (Mentor)

Abstract

The association between increased hormone exposure to adolescent and young adults is a recently focused topic for researchers in pediatric oncology. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, with adolescents and young adults having dramatically lower likelihood of survival than their younger and adult counterparts. This project delves into the consequences that estrogen exposure has on lymphoblastic leukemias, investigating further the impact increased hormonal exposure has on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell adhesion on the prognosis of adolescents and young adults with ALL. We have identified that some acute leukemic blasts express hormone receptors, including estrogen receptor 1 (ERα) and estrogen receptor 2 (ERβ). Our preliminary data reveals that 72-hour exposure to β-estradiol increases expression of ERα and ERβ on the cell surface, and increases cell proliferation in the ERα positive cell lines. We have additionally identified that 72-hour exposure to β-estradiol increases expression of the CXCR4 cell adhesion molecule in leukemia cells that express ERα and ERβ. CXCR4 is a crucial mediator of cell migration in tumor cells and is associated with decreased overall survival in patients with ALL and is thought to contribute to maintenance of a stem cell phenotype, and chemotherapy resistance. We hypothesize that increased circulating β-estradiol in female AYAs with leukemia increases expression of ERα and CXCR4 on their leukemic blasts, and that this contributes to chemotherapy resistance. For this research project we explore this hypothesis by examining the impact of β-estradiol exposure on leukemia cells by evaluating cell expression of ERα and ERβ, measuring cell proliferation and apoptosis, and investigating changes in CXCR4 expression.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Jessica L. Heath

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Philosophy

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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Impact of Hormone Stimulation on Acute Leukemias

The association between increased hormone exposure to adolescent and young adults is a recently focused topic for researchers in pediatric oncology. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common childhood cancer, with adolescents and young adults having dramatically lower likelihood of survival than their younger and adult counterparts. This project delves into the consequences that estrogen exposure has on lymphoblastic leukemias, investigating further the impact increased hormonal exposure has on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell adhesion on the prognosis of adolescents and young adults with ALL. We have identified that some acute leukemic blasts express hormone receptors, including estrogen receptor 1 (ERα) and estrogen receptor 2 (ERβ). Our preliminary data reveals that 72-hour exposure to β-estradiol increases expression of ERα and ERβ on the cell surface, and increases cell proliferation in the ERα positive cell lines. We have additionally identified that 72-hour exposure to β-estradiol increases expression of the CXCR4 cell adhesion molecule in leukemia cells that express ERα and ERβ. CXCR4 is a crucial mediator of cell migration in tumor cells and is associated with decreased overall survival in patients with ALL and is thought to contribute to maintenance of a stem cell phenotype, and chemotherapy resistance. We hypothesize that increased circulating β-estradiol in female AYAs with leukemia increases expression of ERα and CXCR4 on their leukemic blasts, and that this contributes to chemotherapy resistance. For this research project we explore this hypothesis by examining the impact of β-estradiol exposure on leukemia cells by evaluating cell expression of ERα and ERβ, measuring cell proliferation and apoptosis, and investigating changes in CXCR4 expression.