R&D Department organizes and coordinates all the research activities in the Center. Its main research fields are:
epidemiology of malignancies, childhood immunodeficites and hematological diseases;
investigation and assessment of prognostic risk factors that influence outcome of the disease in order to stratify patients for the search of an efficient therapy for every risk group;
working out of methodology of MRD assessment and treatment at childhood and adolescent malignances;
the development of programmes of treatment of malignancies at children and teenagers by hemopoetic stem cells as well as by hyperthermia and biotherapy;
the development of transplant cleaning and treatment of Graft-Versus-Host- Disease (GVHD) development and experimental substantiation of immunological and molecular-biological principles of childhood primary immunodeficites.
R&D Department consists of the Managing Board and 4 laboratories:
1. Laboratory for clinical research: analysis of therapy efficiency;
development of new protocols of treatment.
2. Laboratory for molecular and genetics research:
examination of cancer cells’ biological properties;
molecular mechanisms of multiple drug resistance of cancer cells in different types of leukemia;
MRD by chimeric oncogenes and TCR/IgH rearrangements;
evaluation of cells molecular biology.
Methods used: (RT) PCR, RQ-PCR, Southern blot hybridization, Cloning of gene fragments, Heteroduplex analysis, RFLP, Sequencing ((RT-)PCR)
3. Laboratory for immunological research:
monitoring of MRD during treatment by flow cytometry;
analysis of cell cycle and spontaneous apoptosis in leukemic cells;
detection of drug resistance;
sorting of leukemic cells for further investigations;
mechanisms of photoelimination of leukemic cells;
stem cell study, study of intracellular cytokines expression, investigation of platelets activation status, investigation of natural killers cytotoxic activity, assessment of lymphocytes proliferation activity, neutrophyls functions evaluation.
4. Laboratory for tumor cell and homeostasis research includes the division of cell cultures and division of homeostasis pathologies. Major responsibilities are:
carrying out clonogenic tests
separation, freezing and cultivation of cells for BMT (incl. mesenchimal);
exploration of expression and function of MDR protein in AL;
studying the drug resistance of leukemic cells and conditions of obtaining and expansion of cytotoxic cells of peripheral blood development of LAC-therapy for patients with solid tumors;
examination of the affect of hyperthermia on drug resistance of leukemic cells.
As per December 2006, 50 researchers were working in the Department including professional from Clinical Department. R&D Department has its own postgraduate course where 12 postgraduate students have been studying. Since the BRCPOH was opened, 2 professor’s degree and 12 PhD MD Degree theses were defended. Altogether 2 Professors and 24 doctors with PhD MD Degree are currently working for the BRCPOHI.
There are several ongoing research activities with our partners and friends in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) concerning treatment protocols for: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL-MB-2002, Russia-Belarus), acute myeloid leukemia (AML-ММ-2000-2006, Russia-Belarus), relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL-Relapse-BFM-2002-BRK, Belarus-Russia-Kazakhstan).
BRCPOHI also successfully acts within the bounds of international registers:
Pediatric and Adult Intercontinental Registry on Chronic ITP, Intercontinental Childhood ITP Study Group, European Hematology Association, Switzerland.
Severe Chronic Neutropenia International Registry, European-American cooperation, Germany.
Langerhans cell Histiocytosis international study, Austria
Gaucher Registry International Collaborative Gaucher Group (ICGG), European Cerezyme Access Programme. Netherlands Online Registry of Primary Immunodeficites, European Society for Immunodeficiencies, Germany
BRCPOHI has signed Agreements on cooperation with Federal State Institution “Federal Research and Clinical Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology”, Federal Healthcare and Social Development Agency of Russian Federation; Federal unitary enterprise “State Research Center – Institute of Biophysics”, Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russian Federation; East-Central European Infection and Pediatric Immunology Center for Training and Research of the University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center, Hungary; Project “European Leukemia Net”. An international cooperation for the completion of Phase III study on the effectiveness of OSAG 101 (Theraloc) in newly diagnosed intrinsic pontine gliomas of children and adolescents has been started.
R&D Department of BRCPOHI together with United Institute of Informatics Problems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus have successfully completed the following ISTC projects: B-522 “Development of computer-based system for prognostic risk factors analysis to select adequate therapy of childhood acute leukemia” (2001-2005) and B-736 “Development and demonstration of methodology and information technology for making the diagnosis of childhood cancer on the basis of the visualized findings of the primary diagnostic complex” (2002-2006). The new project B-1489 «Automatization of diagnostics and prognosis of mediastinal and retroperitoneal tumors in children based on analysis of radiological images» is started currently.
Since BRCPOHI establishment, 37 national R&D projects have been completed and 19 researches are being carried out at present, some of them are performed in collaboration with other research and clinic institutions of Belarus. Overall 800 scientific papers have been published including 7 monographies, 11 textbooks, 3 books for proceedings of conferences organized by BRCPOHI, 300 articles (more than 40 have been published international scientific journals, more than 100 – in CIS scientific journals). There are 23 methodological recommendations and instructions on methods, 2 patents and 13 efficiency suggestions are approved by Ministry of Health and other governmental responsible organizations.