February 02, 2023

Interview with Daniel Herranz, Pharm. D. Ph.D. about Blood Cancer Research

Our Executive Director Angela Russo had the opportunity to talk to Daniel Herranz, Pharm. D. Ph.D. of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey about his latest research findings related to T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We appreciate his dedication to finding alternate therapies for adults and children diagnosed with T-ALL. 

What is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia?

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is fast-growing cancer that develops in early (immature) forms of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. It can invade quickly and may spread to other parts of the body including lymph nodes, the liver, the spleen, and the central nervous system. ALL can start in the B cells or T cells. Dr. Herranz’s research for this study focuses on the T-cell ALL. 

About the T-ALL Research by Dr. Herranz and his team

Each year CLRA offers research grants to qualified recipients for their work to identify treatments and cures for blood cancer and related diseases. Dr. Herranz is a CLRA research grant recipient and we are grateful for the advances his team has made in studying T-ALL. 

Through research funding, they have identified a protein that may be therapeutically targetable for T-Cell Leukemia (ALL). This potentially revolutionizes how ALL patients are treated. The study started five years ago and takes funding from organizations like CLRA to make these findings happen. 

Dr. Herranz notes that more than 60% of patients have an activated mutation in a gene called NOTCH-1. Through the research, he is also focused on SIRT1 which works with NOTCH-1 and a newly identified as part of T-ALL, a protein called KAT7. Research leads his team to believe that targeted treatments can be developed to inhibit SIRT1 as well as KAT7, providing new hope for patients. 

Targeted Cancer Therapies

In our years working with researchers and patients, we have learned about how targeted therapies are developed as the result of studying genes. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia was the first to have targeted therapies, changing fatal cancer to a chronic illness. Other cancers currently treated with targeted therapies include certain types of breast and prostate cancers. 

Dr. Herranz and his team are now giving hope to patients diagnosed with T-ALL through research partially funded by the Children’s Leukemia Research Association (CLRA). 

If you are interested in learning more, please visit Research Grants or Patient Aid. As always, we are grateful to our researchers who are giving hope to blood cancer patients which wouldn’t be possible without Donors like you. Thank you!