Next-generation sequencing and novel experimental setting at the basic side of research give us the opportunity to enhance our understanding regarding the biology behind therapy-resistant CLL. Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) has been shown to play a central role in intracellular signalling which influences development, proliferation and survival of leukemic B cells. The first BTK inhibitor (Ibrutinib) has shown remarkable efficacy in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) and was approved as a first-line treatment in 2016.
To date, accumulating evidence support the efficacy of BTK inhibition in diverse disease entities. The emergence of BTK inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for a wide range of B-cell related diseases has led to an increased interest on in depth understanding of intracellular mechanisms of BTK action.
The lab at Queen's University Belfast investigates links between BTK signalling and epigenomics/epigenetics in the context of lymphoid malignancies with a primary focus on CLL.
Dr Effie Kostareli is a Lecturer in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen's University Belfast.