Dr. DruleyTodd Druley, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine and pediatric oncologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, together with Timothy Ley, MD, the Lewis T. and Rosalind B. Apple Professor of Medicine, were each awarded $900,000 for projects aimed at improving long-term outcomes for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The awards, from the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Research Fund, are meant to further promising early-stage science that might not receive funding from traditional sources.

AML is a cancer of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow. An estimated 14,000 people in the United States will die of AML this year.

Drs. Druley and Ley are working to better assess which patients with AML are more likely to relapse after initial treatment with chemotherapy. They will compare different methods for measuring lingering cancer-related mutations that signal a greater likelihood of relapse. Better detection of the residual disease could lead to more effective therapies.

Alvin J. Siteman, an emeritus Washington University trustee and chairman of Site Oil Co., established the Siteman Cancer Research Fund in 2010. Since then, $8.2 million has been granted to fund nine projects at Washington University/Siteman Cancer Center. All projects are reviewed and recommended by an external review panel.