Dr. Toshihiko Imamura won the Heisei 25 (2013) Credit Saison Award with the research theme of " Functional analysis of novel fusion genes involved in the development of IKZF1 deletion-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia"Here is the remarks at the time of winning the Heisei 25 (2013) Credit Saison Award of the Japan Leukemia Research Fund
"Nineteen years have passed since I started to be involved in pediatric oncology. I have been researching acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), which frequently occurs, especially in children among all childhood hematopoietic tumors. Thanks to the outstanding advancement of treatment for childhood ALL, 80% to 90% of patients can be cured these days. I now feel that we have finally reached a stage where we may be able to eradicate these hematopoietic tumors. However, the remaining 10% of patients cannot be cured, even with the current medical technology.
I have been involved in gene analysis of childhood ALL for a long time. The theme I submitted for this award is research of a type of leukemia that lacks a transcription factor called "IKZF1" and has a less favorable prognosis. Having examined those leukemia genes thoroughly, I have finally started to discover an abnormality that may serve as the target for the treatment.
Having hoped to leverage this treatment finding, I decided to apply for this award with the research theme, of the analysis of such gene functions. The theme successfully won the award. Yesterday I looked at past winners of this award. I noticed that this award has been given to a number of highly considered leukemia researchers whom I truly respect or those who are current research leaders. Having seen the list of past winners, I truly feel inspired to contribute further to leukemia research going forward. I will continue to make an effort to contribute to the advancement of leukemia research by collaborating with many senior doctors and other colleagues."