The Wilhelm Tuerk Award OEGHO 2015 was conferred to Irina Sadovnik (Medical University of Vienna) and Harald Herrmann (Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology, Medical University of Vienna). The publication entitled 'Dipeptidylpeptidase IV (CD26) Defines Leukemic Stem Cells (LSC) in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia' (Blood 2014; 123: 3951-3962), which includes the phenotypic and functional characterization of leukemic stem cells in the Ph + CML, was honoured.
The project was conducted within the scope of the Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology (LBC ONC) at the Medical University of Vienna (MUW). The data has already been presented and awarded several times at international congresses.
The Wilhelm Türk Prize is regarded as the most important award for young researchers in the field of hematology in Austria. It is awarded once a year by the ÖGHO in memory of the Austrian hematologist Wilhelm Türk (1871-1916).
In the course of their research, Harald Herrmann and Irina Sadovnik were able to identify the surface enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV), also known as CD26, as specific and pathogenically relevant biomarkers on CD34 + / CD38-CML stem cells. Using anti-CD26 antibodies, CML stem cells can be distinguished from normal stem cells, which is both experimentally useful (stem cell isolation) and clinically-practical (diagnostics). In addition, DPPIV (CD26) is a potential therapeutic target. Since 2008, the LBC ONC focuses on the characterization of leukemic stem cells in various hematological neoplasms. The present work is a decisive contribution of the LBC ONC to the description of leukemic stem cells in Ph + CML.