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New Weapon To Fight Leukemia

Date:
August 27, 2007
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
A new study indicates that the drug FTY720 prevents disease in a mouse model of two leukemias -- blast crisis chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphocytic leukemia -- caused by the cancer protein BCR-ABL. As the drug also induced cell lines from humans with these leukemias to die in vitro the authors suggest that FTY720 should be considered by researchers and clinicians developing new approaches to treat CML-BC and ALL.

In a new study, Danilo Perrotti and colleagues from Ohio State University, Columbus, show that treatment with a drug known as FTY720 prevents disease in a mouse model of many leukemias caused by the cancer protein BCR-ABL (nearly all cases of blast crisis chronic myeloid leukemia [CML-BC] and some cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia [ALL]).

As the drug also induced cell lines from humans with these leukemias to die in vitro the authors suggest that FTY720 should be considered by researchers and clinicians developing new approaches to treat CML-BC and ALL patients.

FTY720 was chosen for these studies because it does not directly target the BCR-ABL kinase, which in individuals with CML-BC and ALL is resistant to kinase inhibitors such as imatinib (Gleevec). Instead, FTY720 activates protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), which is a tumor suppressor that is inactivated by signals induced by BCR-ABL.

The pharmacologic doses of FTYY720 used to suppress leukemogenesis in the mice had no adverse effects and FTY720 has thus far shown no adverse effects in clinical trials testing its potential as a therapeutic for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The authors therefore believe their data provide strong support for the use of FTY720 as a novel therapeutic for CML-BC and ALL patients that are not responsive to treatment with kinase inhibitors.


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Journal of Clinical Investigation. "New Weapon To Fight Leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823201228.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2007, August 27). New Weapon To Fight Leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823201228.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "New Weapon To Fight Leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823201228.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

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