New therapy avenue for blood cancer treatment

Chennai: A latest research has found that targeting a pathway that is essential for the survival of certain types of acute myeloid leukaemia could provide a new therapy avenue for patients.

According to researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, a specific genetic mutation, which is linked with poor prognosis in blood cancer, is involved in the development of the disease when combined with other mutations in mice and human cell lines.

Published recently in Nature Communications, the study provides a greater understanding of how the loss-of-function mutation in the CUX1 gene leads to the development and survival of acute myeloid leukaemia. The findings suggest that targeting a pathway that is essential for these cancer cells to continue growing could lead to new targeted therapies for some patients.

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is an aggressive blood cancer that affects people of all ages, often requiring months of intensive chemotherapy and prolonged hospital admissions.

It typically develops in cells within the bone marrow to crowd out the healthy cells, in turn leading to life-threatening infections and bleeding. Mainstream AML treatments have remained unchanged for decades and fewer than one in three people survive the cancer*.

Previously through large-scale DNA sequencing analysis, researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute found that loss-of-function mutations in the CUX1 gene on chromosome 7q were seen in several types of cancer, including AML, where it is associated with poor prognosis. However, the role of this gene in AML development is unclear.

NT Bureau