Inflammatory biomarkers of allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation outcome

Research Opportunity
Project Status
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Rachel Koldej Personal web page
Lynette Chee

Project Details

The Royal Melbourne Hospital is one of the largest providers of allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) in Australia. AlloHCT is a complex but potentially curative procedure for patients with haematologic malignancies or bone marrow failure syndromes. The fundamental principle of alloHCT is that a donor’s haematopoietic stem cells (or graft), when infused into the recipient, will develop into a new set of immunologically active cells that recognise tumour cells as foreign and contain or destroy them.

Studies have demonstrated that inflammation associated with alloHCT can contribute to adverse outcomes such as relapse, graft versus host disease and non-relapse mortality. We therefore are undertaking studies to examine the inflammatory process in pre-transplant samples and identify biomarkers that predict for patient outcome post-transplant. We have HREC approved access to over 300 pre-transplant samples with associated clinical outcome measures to use in this project. The biomarkers to be examined in this project include circulating microRNAs, cytokine levels and serum ferritin. Our initial studies in serum microRNAs have identified a number of microRNAs that are prognostic for outcome.

These microRNAs require validation in a larger patient cohort. Our studies in ferritin have shown that serum ferritin, albumin and haemoglobin levels pre-allogeneic stem cell transplantation are predictive biomarkers of survival, relapse and non-relapse mortality post-transplant (Chee et al, Bone Marrow Transplantation, 2017). These biomarkers remain significant after accounting for disease risk index and add to its prognostic power. We now wish to analyse the levels of inflammatory markers (e.g. IL-6, CRP) to determine if the increased ferritin is a result of iron overload or an inflammatory state

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Research Opportunities

Graduate Research Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other Graduate Research requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

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Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

ACRF Translational Research Laboratory

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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