Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New biomarker may predict leukemia aggressiveness

21.04.2009
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center have evidence of a potential new biomarker to predict the aggressiveness of an often difficult-to-treat form of leukemia.

They found that high levels of a particular enzyme in the blood are an indicator that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) – the most common form of adult leukemia – will be aggressive and in need of immediate treatment.

The researchers, led by Paul A. Insel, MD, professor of pharmacology and medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, say that the enzyme, PDE7B, is also critical to the development of CLL and a potential target for drugs against the disease. They present their results April 19, 2009 at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver.

One of the problems in deciding on the right therapy for CLL is that it is difficult to know which type of leukemia a patient has. One form progresses slowly, with few symptoms for years while the other form is more aggressive and dangerous. While tests exist and are commonly used to help doctors predict which form a patient may have, their availability and usefulness are limited.

In previous work, Insel's group had discovered that among a group of enzymes, cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases, one of the phosphodiesterases, PDE7B, was 10 times higher in CLL patients than in healthy individuals. PDE7B controls the levels of cyclic AMP (cAMP), a molecule that can promote programmed cell death, a process that is defective in CLL. Whereas most cancers have out-of-control cell growth, CLL is characterized by an overabundance of white blood cells that do not die when they should. High levels of PDE7B mean less cAMP and as a result, less cell death.

"The question was, could the level of PDE7B expression provide evidence for the clinical stage and diagnosis for individual patients?" Insel said. To find out if changes in PDE7B levels might reflect disease progression, Insel, postodoctoral fellow Linghzi Zhang, PhD, and their co-workers compared the amount of PDE7B in white blood cells in 85 untreated patients with CLL to those of 30 healthy adults, and watched for changes over time. They then divided the results into patients who had high levels of PDE7B and those who had low amounts.

"We found that individuals with high levels really had worse disease and showed that PDE7B expression had predictive value relative to other currently available markers for disease severity and progression," Insel said. "In some cases, the level of PDE7B expression provided prognostic information that was additive to existing markers."

Zhang said that PDE7B can be used alone as a biomarker for CLL if the levels are high enough, but may be used with other markers if the level is lower and ambiguous. "PDE7B may not be good enough by itself if it's not high enough," she noted. "If it is low, other markers could be helpful."

Co-investigator and leukemia expert Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and deputy director for research at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, said that the findings are potentially important because of the urgency for clinicians to be able to gauge early on what kind of disease the CLL patient has in order to design the best available therapy.

Insel said that their research to date implies that PDE7B has a role in prognosis and could also be a good drug target because it reflects part of the biology of the disease. "The more of this enzyme a patient has, the worse the outcome," he said. "This implies that if we can develop drugs to block this enzyme, which would raise cAMP and promote apoptosis – which is really at the heart of the underlying pathology."

The American Cancer Society estimated that in 2008, about 15,100 new cases of CLL occurred in the United States, with roughly 4,400 deaths from the disease.

Other UCSD authors include: Laura Rassenti, Minya Pu, Fiona Murray, Joan Kanter, Andrew Greaves and Karen Messer.

The Moores UCSD Cancer Center is one of the nation's 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, combining research, clinical care and community outreach to advance the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer.

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu
http://www.cancer.ucsd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>