Our research found that SALL4 exhibits an oncofetal expression pattern: it is expressed during development; downregulated and absent in most adult tissues but re-expressed in various cancers.
In 2006, we published the first paper on the role of the ES cell gene SALL4 in de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML). SALL4 over-expression has been linked to blood, liver, and endometrial cancers, and re-activation of SALL4 in general is associated with a more aggressive cancer phenotype.
In 2022, we published a landmark paper in NEJM which demonstrated that upregulation of SALL4 in MDS patients treated with hypomethylating agents (e.g. Decitabine and Azacitadine) correlates with significantly worse outcome.
Our lab is researching the diagnostic and prognostic value of SALL4, while working to develop high-sensitivity detection methods of SALL4 expression.
SALL4 diagnostics can benefit many cancer types where SALL4 is a targetable oncogene.