Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers show new drug may help treat certain forms of leukemia


A new experimental drug may be effective against a certain form of leukemia resistant to current treatments, research at UT Southwestern Medical Center shows.

"This novel anti-leukemia drug that we have been working on shows considerable promise for going into the clinic," said Dr. Robert Ilaria Jr., associate professor of internal medicine and molecular biology and senior author of the study that will appear in an upcoming issue of Blood. The study is available online.

The study on the drug, called PD166326, was done in mice with a form of leukemia similar to human chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), which is diagnosed in about 5,000 people in the United States each year. Patients with CML produce a mutated enzyme that stimulates white blood cells to overproduce, causing leukemia.

The Blood study shows that PD166326 is nearly 100 times more potent than the current drug imatinib (Gleevec) against cells expressing this enzyme, Dr. Ilaria said.

"Our study represents the first published characterization of this novel anti-leukemia drug in animals," Dr. Ilaria said. Gleevec is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with CML. The drug blocks signals within cancer cells and prevents a series of chemical reactions that cause the cells to grow and divide.

Although Gleevec has been highly successful against CML, it is unknown whether the drug can permanently eradicate all leukemia cells with the specific aberrant enzyme found in CML patients. About 15 percent to 20 percent of patients who take Gleevec become resistant to the drug and relapse, leaving few effective treatment options.

In the Blood study, Dr. Ilaria and his colleagues introduced the cancer-causing enzyme into mouse bone-marrow cells to generate mice with a form of leukemia similar to human CML. The disease usually develops slowly, although it can progress to an accelerated phase.

When mice received a single oral dose of PD166326, the mutated enzyme activity was rapidly inhibited, and the white blood count significantly decreased. Two-thirds of the PD166326-treated mice also had complete recovery from splenomegaly, an abnormal enlargement of the spleen, compared to none treated with Gleevec, Dr. Ilaria said.

In long-term use, PD166326 showed better anti-leukemia activity than Gleevec, and it also prolonged the survival of mice with the CML-like leukemia resistant to Gleevec treatment.

While PD166326 is not yet available for clinical trials, investigators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who synthesized the drug, are working with a major pharmaceutical company that owns the patent for this class of drugs on its clinical development, Dr. Ilaria said. Its relatively long half-life in mice indicates once-daily dosing might be possible in humans.

PD166326 is in a different class of anti-leukemia drugs currently being investigated by other researchers for their effectiveness in Gleevec-resistant patients. Dr. Ilaria’s lab is continuing research in Gleevec resistance and looking at combining this new compound with other drugs.

"CML patients may soon have multiple choices with Gleevec and any one or all of the additional classes of drugs in development," Dr. Ilaria said. "These compounds also may work on other solid tumors, so it will be very interesting to see how it all pans out."

Nicholas C. Wolff, research associate in the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, is first author of the Blood study.

Scott Maier | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>