Researchers say the findings should improve the understanding of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and could lead to new therapies for patients with few treatment options.
The study examined the levels of molecules called microRNAs in leukemia cells from 122 patients with high- and intermediate-risk AML and in normal blood stem cells from 10 healthy donors.
The findings showed that both the leukemia cells and their normal counterparts had similar kinds of microRNA, but that the two groups differed in the levels of miRNAs present.
The research also identified two microRNAs present at abnormally high levels that were clearly associated with patient survival.
The investigators verified their findings in an additional group of 60 patients using a different technology.
The study, published online Jan. 10 in the journal Blood, was led by researchers with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
“If our results are validated by other groups, these two elevated microRNAs can be used to determine which patients require more aggressive treatment,” says first author Dr. Ramiro Garzon, assistant professor of internal medicine and a researcher with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“In addition, they may provide new targets for future therapies – knocking out these two microRNAs might benefit patients who have a poor prognosis.”
This possibility is particularly intriguing, he says, because the two microRNAs – called miR-191 and miR-199a – are also associated with cancers of the lung, prostate, colon, stomach and breast. This suggests that they may be part of a common cancer pathway.
Garzon noted that the study also found an association between high levels of a microRNA called miR-155 in AML patients and a gene mutation called FLT3-ITD. High levels of this microRNA have been reported in other cancers and to cause leukemia in mice.
“Clearly, our findings suggest that the quantity of microRNAs present is important in cancer, suggesting that modulating their levels might offer an effective way to treat the disease in these patients,” he says.
For this study, Garzon and his colleagues used blood samples from newly diagnosed AML patients who had either normal-looking chromosomes, a feature that indicates intermediate risk of recurrence, or other chromosome alterations. These included isolated trisomy 8, the t(11q23) translocation and multiple chromosomal abnormalities that signal a high risk of recurrence.
Together, these groups make up the majority of the 13,400 people expected to be diagnosed with AML in 2007. About 9,000 people that year were expected to die of the disease.
“Our efforts now should concentrate on characterizing how these altered microRNAs might promote leukemia and on developing drugs designed to inhibit their action,” Garzon says.
Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
21.03.2018 | Life Sciences