Blood Cancer Institute Research

This Blood Cancer Institute's highly collaborative program among experts in basic science and translational and clinical research at Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center is speeding the pathway from lab breakthrough to promising therapies and even cures for blood cancers. The search for new treatment options for people with lymphoma, leukemia, MDS, myeloma and other blood cancers is intensive and fast-paced. 

The Institute kick-starts the early stages of both basic and translational research, when outcomes are less certain. We will focus on areas where we can make a unique contribution to the field–basic bench research and also early-phase clinical trials with novel compounds, for instance. Then we can take the next step and bring the state-of-the-art science into the clinic.

Amit Verma, MD

Select Research Published to Date

The robust output of high-impact research publications in the past several years is just one measure of the Institute's productivity. 


Konopleva M, Timothy A, Daver N, et al. Complex I Inhibitor of Oxidative Phosphorylation in Advanced Solid Tumors and Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Phase I Trials. Nat Med. 2022; pre-print:

Piszczatowski RT, Schwenger E, Sundaravel S, et al. A glycan-based approach to cell characterization and isolation: Hematopoiesis as a paradigm. J Exp Med. 2022;219(11):e20212552. doi:10.1084/jem.20212552

Okoye-Okafor UC, Javarappa KK, Tsallos D, et al. Megakaryopoiesis impairment through acute innate immune signaling activation by azacitidine. J Exp Med. 2022;219(11):e20212228. doi:10.1084/jem.20212228

Gonzalez-Lugo JD, Kambhampati S, Yacoub A, et al. Lenalidomide and Eltrombopag for Treatment of Low or Intermediate Risk Myelodysplastic Syndrome: Result of a Phase 2 Clinical Trial [published online ahead of print, 2022 Oct 18]. Clin Cancer Res. 2022;CCR-22-1457. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-22-1457

Choudhary GS, Pellagatti A, Agianian B, et al. Activation of targetable inflammatory immune signaling is seen in myelodysplastic syndromes with SF3B1 mutations. Elife. 2022;11:e78136. Published 2022 Aug 30. doi:10.7554/eLife.78136

Baran N, Lodi A, Dhungana Y, et al. Inhibition of mitochondrial complex I reverses NOTCH1-driven metabolic reprogramming in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):2801. Published 2022 May 19. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-30396-3

Konopleva MY, Röllig C, Cavenagh J, et al. Idasanutlin plus cytarabine in relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia: results of the MIRROS trial. Blood Adv. 2022;6(14):4147-4156. doi:10.1182/bloodadvances.2021006303

Cai T, Gouble A, Black KL, et al. Targeting CD123 in blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm using allogeneic anti-CD123 CAR T cells. Nat Commun. 2022;13(1):2228. Published 2022 Apr 28. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-29669-8

Jasra S, Giricz O, Zeig-Owens R, et al. High burden of clonal hematopoiesis in first responders exposed to the World Trade Center disaster. Nat Med. 2022;28(3):468-471. doi:10.1038/s41591-022-01708-3

Lee M, Quinn R, Pradhan K, et al. Impact of COVID-19 on case fatality rate of patients with cancer during the Omicron wave. Cancer Cell. 2022;40(4):343-345. doi:10.1016/j.ccell.2022.02.012

Zhang Q, Riley-Gillis B, Han L, et al. Activation of RAS/MAPK pathway confers MCL-1 mediated acquired resistance to BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax in acute myeloid leukemia [published correction appears in Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2022 Apr 1;7(1):110]. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2022;7(1):51. Published 2022 Feb 21. doi:10.1038/s41392-021-00870-3

Shapiro LC, Thakkar A, Campbell ST, et al. Efficacy of booster doses in augmenting waning immune responses to COVID-19 vaccine in patients with cancer. Cancer Cell. 2022;40(1):3-5. doi:10.1016/j.ccell.2021.11.006

DiNardo CD, Konopleva MY. A venetoclax bench-to-bedside story. Nat Cancer. 2021;2(1):3-5. doi:10.1038/s43018-020-00165-6

Select Studies Focused on Blood Cancer Outcomes in Historically Underrepresented Groups (URG’s)

Advancing health equity is a priority for Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center, which serves the nation’s most racially and ethnically diverse urban community. To this end, our clinicians and researchers at the Blood Cancer Institute have conducted novel studies to identify the unique effects of blood cancers in people who are Black, Latinx, and of other racial and ethnic minority backgrounds often underrepresented in research and clinical trials. We’ve additionally carried out clinical studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of cell therapies and other specific treatments for leukemias, lymphoma and myeloma in people from these diverse backgrounds.

Examples include:

Landmark demonstration of the effectiveness of cell therapies (CAR-T therapies) in URG and elderly patients with lymphoma:

First demonstration of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in URG patients with cancer:

Demonstration of transplant and chemotherapy success for myeloma in URG and elderly patients:

Learn More & Join Us in the Search for Cures

More about our fundamental discoveries into the mechanisms of blood cancers is available on our basic research pages. And details about our clinical work, including numerous Investigator-Initiated Trials in blood cancers, appears in our translational and clinical research section.

We welcome you to our initiative, and hope you’ll consider making a donation to help support our work.