Director of the Institute
The Institute of Oncology and Hematology of Almazov Centre brings together research units carrying out fundamental and translational research in hematology, blood transfusion, rheumatology and infectious diseases.
The Institute led by Professor Andrey Zaritskey works closely with the leading research, clinical and educational institutions of Russia and abroad.
The Institute was established in 2009 as the Institute of Hematology headed by Prof. Andrey Zaritskey, one of the leading scientists studying the biology of leukemic cells, a leading figure in Russian clinical hematology. A number of studies by key specialists as well as the general focus on the development in accordance with the principles of translational medicine ultimately led to the creation of the Institute bringing together the scientific units for research in molecular biology, hematology, blood transfusion, infectious diseases, pathology and rheumatology.
Since the foundation, the major areas of research have been in the biology of hematological, rheumatological and infectious diseases, mechanisms of resistance to modern therapy, development of methods that would improve the diagnosis and prediction of the course of various diseases. The research is funded through several state assignments, grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, as well as through international cooperation. The studies resulted in more than a hundred publications in Russian and international journals.
As the clinical oncological departments appeared in Almazov Centre, it became necessary to build the relevant scientific structure for studying the mechanisms underlying the onset and development of solid tumors and optimizing the methods for their diagnosis and treatment. Accordingly, in 2019, the Institute of Hematology was transformed into the Institute of Oncology and Hematology.
The Institute comprises 3 research departments with 6 research laboratories and 3 research groups. In particular, the Department of Fundamental Oncology was established to study the biology of solid tumors and improve methods for their morphological, immunohistochemical and molecular genetic diagnosis. The Research Department of Nuclear Medicine and Theranostics headed by Prof. Daria Ryzhkova was established. Research laboratories have international certificates and diplomas.
Today, the Institute is proud to have 5 doctors of science (including 4 professors) and 7 candidates of science; its total staff is 55.
Major research areas
- Immunotherapy for oncology and hematology patients, including CAR T-cell therapy
- Target therapy for lympho- and myeloproliferative disorders
- Hematopoietic stem cells for cancer treatment
- Kinetics of leukemic cells in acute myeloid leukemia
- CNS tumors in children
Structure of the Institute
- Department of Clinical Oncology with Onco-Hematology Laboratory
- Department of Fundamental Oncology with Genetic Engineering and Cell Therapy Group
- Department of Nuclear Medicine and Theranostics with Radiopharmaceutical Development Group
- Study of the bone marrow niche and biology of hematopoietic stem cells
- Cell therapy and CAR T-lymphocytes
- Study of new prognostic markers and optimization of treatment regimens
- Introduction of new drugs
The Institute has been actively collaborating with the international organization European LeukemiaNet supported by the 6th European Union Framework Programme since 2004. Cooperation with ELN is mostly focused on studying the prevalence and effectiveness of treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in various regions of Russia. Director of the Institute Andrey Zaritskey acted as the principal investigator in the large-scale project “The EUropean Treatment Outcome Study (EUTOS) for CML”. For the project “Retrospective Registry of Patients with CML in the Northwestern Region of Russia”, the Institute actively collaborated with leading hematology clinics in St. Petersburg, the Leningrad Region, the Komi Republic, the Republic of Karelia and the Murmansk Region.
This project was successfully completed in 2011. The project “Prospective Registry of Patients with CML in St. -Petersburg and the Leningrad region” establishing a population database of patients with CML continued fruitful cooperation with all hematology clinics in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Prof. Andrey Zaritskey and Elza Lomaia as active members of EUTOS programmes and other European LeukemiaNet projects co-authored several joint publications and were repeatedly awarded with ELN diplomas.
In 2011, the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, together with Onco-Hematology Laboratory, acting as the reference laboratory, was the first in Russia to complete the standardization of the molecular method for the quantitative determination of BCR / ABL gene expression in CML patients. This work was carried out jointly with European LeukemiaNet. The results of this work currently allow monitoring of the minimal residual disease in these patients, while comparing the results with European standards and making it possible to timely change treatment tactics.
|Signing the MoU between Almazov Centre (Prof. Alexandra Konradi, Prof. Andrey Zaritskey) and Cancer Center (Dr. Anderson).|
The international certificate confirms the successful completion of this project.
Postgraduate training and internships for doctors make an important part of the Institute's activities. Advisory and methodological assistance is provided to the specialists of healthcare facilities in St. Petersburg and the Northwestern region of Russia by organizing and conducting various workshops, conferences and lectures for doctors on the topical issues of diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Lectures and workshops at the training courses are delivered by the specialists of the Institute of Hematology and cover not only the problems of pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases, but also the issues of associated antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral treatments, as well as intensive care in these patients.
In 2017, doctors from Kyrgyzstan and the Republic of Belarus took an internship at the Institute as part of the Emerging Regions Support and Partnership (ERSAP) Program of the International Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Foundation (iCMLf).
In December 2017, Elza Lomaia successfully presented the results and prospects of cooperation between the Institute and the iCMLf at the iCMLf Forum in Atlanta (USA).
Elza Lomaia, Leading Researcher of Clinical Onco-Hematology Department