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Richard J. Jones, M.D.

Richard Jones, MD

Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Program
Co-Director, Hematologic Malignancies Program
Professor of Oncology and Medicine

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Clinical/Academic Interests:
Hematopoiesis, Blood and marrow transplantation, Hematologic malignancies

Research Summary
The overall goal of Dr. Jones’ research is to better understand the biology of normal and abnormal hematopoiesis, with an eye to improving the treatment of blood disorders by translating promising findings to the clinic. A primary area of focus is the identification and biologic characterization of cancer stem cells. It appears that, for most cancers, only a small fraction of the cancer cells retains the capacity to self-renew and proliferate. These cancer stem cells give rise to the differentiated cells that form the bulk of the tumor mass and phenotypically characterize the disease. In many tumors, cancer stem cells and their differentiated progeny appear to have markedly different biologic characteristics. Characterizing cancer stem cells has particular relevance for targeted anti-cancer therapies. Therapies that target mature tumor cells may lead to clinical improvement, but are unlikely to be curative unless cancer stem cells are also targeted. Alternatively, relevant targets unique to the rare cancer stem cells may be missed if clinical activity is judged solely by criteria that reflect the effects of treatment on the bulk of the cancer. Thus, understanding the biology of cancer stem cells, especially in relation to their differentiated progeny, is essential for developing effective anticancer treatments. One cancer stem cell specific therapy that appears promising is differentiation therapy. Although self-renewal and differentiation are effectively coupled in normal stem cells, all cancer stem cells show some degree of differentiation block. Re-establishing the differentiation program in cancer stem cells should promote their maturation, leading to a loss of self-renewal capacity.

Journal Citations

  • Matsui WH, Huff CA, Wang Q, Malehorn MT, Barber J, Tanhehco Y, Smith BD, Civin CI, Jones RJ. Characterization of Clonogenic Multiple Myeloma Cells.  Blood 2004, 103:2332-6.
  • Jones RJ, Matsui WH, Smith BD. Cancer stem cells: are we missing the target? J Natl Cancer Inst 2004, 96:583-585.
  • Matsui W, Smith BD, Vala M, Beal N, Huff CA, Diehl LF, and Jones RJ. Requirement for myeloid growth factors in the differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia. Br J Haematol. 2005; 128:853-862.
  • Angstreich GR, Matsui W, Huff CA, Vala MS, Barber J, Hawkins AL, Griffin CA, Smith BD, Jones RJ. Effects of imatinib and interferon on primitive chronic myeloid leukaemia progenitors. Br J Haematol. 2005, 130:373-81
  • Huff CA, Matsui W, Smith BD, Jones RJ. The paradox of response and survival in cancer therapeutics. Blood 2005, In Press
  • Huff CA, Matsui W, Smith BD, Jones RJ. Strategies to eliminate cancer stem cells: clinical implications. Eur J Cancer 2005, In Press

 

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