Scientists in South Australia have made a significant breakthrough in overcoming drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare and devastating blood cancer that kills most patients within a few years.
У new study published in the world’s leading hematological journal Bloodresearchers from UniSA and SA Pathology‘s Center for Cancer Biology describe how they discovered a way to suppress a specific protein that promotes resistance to drugs commonly used to treat patients with AML.
Professor Stuart Pitsonone of the study’s lead authors says the finding could revolutionize the treatment of AML, a disease that recently claimed the lives of great SA footballer Russell Ebert and professional golfer Jarod Lyle.
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“Every year in Australia, about 900 people are diagnosed with AML, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that is characterized by excessive production of cancerous white blood cells called leukemic blasts,” says Professor Pitson.
“These cells displace normal white blood cells, which then cannot do their normal job of fighting infections, which increases the risk of infections, low oxygen levels and bleeding.”
SA Pathology hematologist Associate Professor David Ross says many patients with AML initially respond to Venetoclax, a new therapy for AML recently listed in PBS, but over time AML cells become resistant to it.
Using a large biobank of patient-donated AML biopsies and the world’s leading advanced preclinical models, CCB researchers have demonstrated that by modulating lipid metabolism in the body, a protein called Mcl-1 is inhibited in AML cells – a protein that promotes drug intake. resistance.
“This process makes AML cells extremely sensitive to Venetoclax without affecting normal white blood cells,” said researcher SA Pathology and one of the lead authors. Associate Professor Jason Powell I say.
Now the CCB team is making every effort to optimize drugs aimed at this pathway to take them into clinical trials for patients with AML.
“For most people with AML, the chances of long-term survival are no better than they were in the last century,” said Associate Professor Ross.
“Now we have a chance to fix it. New treatments that prevent resistance to venetoclax may extend survival or even increase the chances of curing a disease that desperately needs better results. ”
Image Credit: (ENTER NAMES)