Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential seen for tailoring treatment for acute myeloid leukemia

10.12.2018

Rapid drug response screening for leukemia stem cells offers clues to relapse and to improving patient-specific therapies

Advances in rapid screening of leukemia cells for drug susceptibility and resistance are bringing scientists closer to patient-tailored treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).


An artist's conception of chemotherapy in a hospital infusion room. The image combines photography and photo enhancement.

Credit: Alice C, Gray

Research on the drug responses of leukemia stem cells may reveal why some attempts to treat are not successful or why initially promising treatment results are not sustained.

AML is a serious disorder of certain blood-forming cells. In this disease, certain early precursor cells in the bone marrow that usually develop into white blood cells don't mature properly. They remain frozen as primitive cells called blasts, unable to further differentiate and mature.

These can accumulate and cause low blood counts that reduce the ability to fight infections, and low platelet counts that cause risk of life threatening hemorrhage.

Leukemia stem cells - the progenitors for the immature, cancerous blood cells - propagate AML, and also play a role in the cancer returning after treatment. Cancer researchers are interested in how genes are expressed in this cell population, because this data may hold clues to resistance to standard therapies and answers to why some patients relapse.

A study presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego looked at the drug response patterns of stem cells and blast cells taken from individual patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. The information was gathered through high throughput screening, a state of the art method for quickly evaluating and testing many samples.

The researchers found that leukemia stem cells and blast cells diverged in their drug susceptibility patterns, and also that these patterns differed from patient to patient.

For example, blast cells s responded in the test to the drugs most commonly used to treat patients, but none were effective against leukemia stem cells. The researchers did find 12 drugs from eight classes that seemed to preferentially target leukemia stem cells, compared to blast cells. Many of them are not often used in patients with this type of cancer.

The multidisciplinary team on the project included stem cell biologists, hematologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, computer scientists, drug developers and others.

The senior researcher was hematologist Dr. Pamela Becker, professor of medicine at the UW School of Medicine. She is also a scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, and sees patients with blood disorders at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

In the laboratory study, the researchers compared the drug sensitivity of blast cell and stem cell populations taken from the same six patients. In doing so, they tested a custom panel of drugs, targeted agents and drug combinations on the cells, and did genetic analyses for 194 mutations. The panel included both FDA approved and investigational drugs.

The unique drug susceptibility patterns observed in leukemia stem cells and blast cells are leading the scientists to hope that patient-specific approaches could be developed against acute myeloid leukemia, with the goal of improving the outcomes for people with this form of blood cancer.

###

This study was abstract 180 at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology

Media Contact

Leila Gray
leilag@uw.edu
206-685-0381

 @uwmnewsroom

https://newsroom.uw.edu/ 

Leila Gray | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Opioids: no effect without side effect
21.01.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Jena

nachricht The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease
18.01.2019 | University of the Basque Country

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists discover new 'architecture' in corn

21.01.2019 | Life Sciences

Broadband achromatic metalens focuses light regardless of polarization

21.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Nuclear actin filaments determine T helper cell function

21.01.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>