Despina FotiouPlasma cell dyscrasias unit Department of Clinical Therapeutics School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The Department of Clinical Therapeutics/ Plasma Cell Dyscrasia Unit is a reference center for the diagnosis and treatment of plasma cell/lymphoproliferative neoplasms in Athens, Greece. A large biobank has been developed in our Department providing various types of material for our translational research. Current research in WM mainly focus on translational and clinical research projects. Our laboratory is extensively working on circulating tumor DNA from the peripheral blood, initially for the detection and characterization of the mutational status of MYD88 and CXCR4. Further, we are working on optimizing ultra-sensitive cost-effective techniques based on real time PCR that can detect the MYD88 L265P mutation even when expressed at very low copies in peripheral blood. Using sequential peripheral blood sampling we are developing techniques for tumor fraction and mutational burden assessment based on circulating tumor DNA, to understand and predict treatment resistance to current therapies. Along the same lines, we are also developing techniques for the isolation of circulating tumor cells and further single cell analysis. Through and extensive collaborative network in Greece, Europe and USA we are also focusing in the biology of early lesions and the investigation of the microenvironment of the bone marrow in these patients and their symptomatic counterparts.