Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds new designer drug is potent treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia

15.02.2005


Hybrid targeted therapy effective in treating Gleevec-resistant disease



Using rational drug design strategies, investigators at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland have created a targeted therapy for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) that may ultimately be more effective than Gleevec®, the current frontline treatment. The researchers report in the February issue of Cancer Cell that the new compound, AMN107, is about 20 times more potent than Gleevec and is effective in treating Gleevec-resistant disease in model systems.

"While Gleevec represents a major treatment advance for CML – approximately 95 percent of patients treated with Gleevec achieve remission – there clearly is a need for therapies that produce longer remissions, are active against advanced disease, and can be used when Gleevec loses effectiveness," says Dana-Farber’s James Griffin, MD, senior author of the study. "The goal of this study was to develop a drug that hits the same target on CML cells as Gleevec does, and to hit more of the target."


Gleevec shuts down CML by blocking the function of Bcr-Abl, the abnormal tyrosine kinase protein in the leukemic cells that causes them to grow too quickly. However, it does not bind very tightly to this protein, takes a long time to induce remissions, and patients can develop a resistant type of Bcr-Abl that no longer binds to Gleevec at all.

To circumvent these shortcomings, researchers at Novartis determined the crystal structure of Bcr-Abl, and then constructed compounds that would lock into the receptor more securely than Gleevec. Investigators at Dana-Farber tested the new compounds to measure their effectiveness against CML in laboratory cell cultures and mice with the disease.

The final product was AMN107, a half-new, half-old hybrid. Half of AMN107’s chemical makeup is identical to a portion of Gleevec, the remainder is completely different, explains Griffin, who is also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In experiments with laboratory samples of CML cells, AMN107 killed the cells more effectively than Gleevec. In follow-up studies with mice with a human form of CML, AMN107 produced lengthier remissions than Gleevec and triggered remissions in animals in which the disease had become resistant to Gleevec. Side effects in the animals were minimal. "In these pre-clinical tests, the new drug was very impressive," says Griffin. "We’ve been able to expand on what we learned from Gleevec to produce a therapy that, thus far, has a more powerful and enduring impact against CML."

AMN107 has been started in early phase clinical trials at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and if it proves safe to administer, will be tested for effectiveness in CML patients at Dana-Farber and other sites. If the drug is effective, the next task will be to determine the optimal way of using it –– whether alone or in combination with Gleevec or as a follow-up to Gleevec. Studies are also under way to learn whether AMN107 is effective against other diseases, such as gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST), for which Gleevec has become a reliable treatment. "We’re very encouraged by the results so far," Griffin remarks. "This is an elegant example of how rational drug design –– developing drugs based on a molecular understanding of cell structures and processes –– can be used to attack human diseases."

The findings contribute to a larger Dana-Farber research effort, dubbed the "Kinase Project," which seeks to identify abnormal tyrosine kinases -- enzymes that spark or halt growth -- in cancer cells and test agents known to act against them.

Bill Schaller | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dfci.harvard.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

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 “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>