Traveling for Care?
Whether you're crossing the country or the globe, we make it easy to access world-class care at Johns Hopkins.
Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Program
Co-Director, Hematologic Malignancies Program
Professor of Oncology and Medicine
New Patients: 410-955-8964
Return Patients: 410-955-8893
Administrative Office: 443-287-7104
Hematopoiesis, Blood and marrow transplantation, Hematologic malignancies
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.