The Bone Marrow Niche, Stem Cells, and Leukemia: Impact of Drugs, Chemicals, and the Environment. In order to better understand leukemia it may be necessary to examine it from the perspective that it is an environmental disease.
May 29 – 31, 2013 The New York Academy of Sciences Presented by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and the New York Academy of Sciences
Over 20,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with bone marrow failure syndromes. Environmental, chemical, and genetic factors have been linked to the development of lymphomas, leukemias, and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Additionally, some anti-cancer drugs have been shown to themselves induce DNA damage and secondary cancers. In light of increasing societal exposure to toxic environmental agents that may be carcinogenic, including chemicals and pharmaceuticals, we face the potential for a rise in the incidence of bone marrow failure and malignancy. In order to better understand leukemia it may be necessary to examine it from the perspective that it is an environmental disease.To date, two separate groups of scientists and physicians have been studying bone marrow: toxicologists who examine the effects of chemicals and the environment on healthy marrow, and hematologists and oncologists who investigate bone marrow abnormalities and malignancies. Thus, there is a clear, unmet need for collaboration between these fields within academia, industry, and government in order to accelerate our investigation and understanding both of basic bone marrow biology and chemically-induced diseases of the marrow.
This 2.5-day conference will bring together representatives from two areas of research, toxicology and hematology, around a jointly shared goal — to better understand, prevent, and treat myeloid neoplasms. Conference Sessions will combine basic science and toxicology research at the level of the bone marrow niche with clinical findings from healthy subjects and patients. Topics for discussion will include bone marrow niche structure and function, the maturation and differentiation of healthy and leukemogenic hematopoietic stem cells, and the environmental, chemical, and genetic factors involved in the development of myeloid abnormalities including MDS and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The meeting will feature a series of plenary lectures, panel discussions, a poster session, and short talk presentations selected from abstracts submitted by early career investigators.