Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene Mutation Improves Leukemia Drug's Effect, Study Shows

Date:
June 23, 2008
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
Gene mutations that make cells cancerous can sometimes also make them more sensitive to chemotherapy. People with acute myeloid leukemia whose leukemic cells have mutations in the RAS gene are more likely to be cured when treated after remission with high doses of the drug cytarabine. It also suggests that testing for RAS mutations might help doctors identify which AML patients should receive high-dose cytarabine as their post-remission therapy. The findings could change how doctors manage these patients.

Gene mutations that make cells cancerous can sometimes also make them more sensitive to chemotherapy. A new study led by cancer researchers at Ohio State University shows that a mutation present in some cases of acute leukemia makes the disease more susceptible to high doses of a particular anticancer drug.

The findings, from a Cancer and Leukemia Group B clinical cooperative group study led by Dr. Clara D. Bloomfield, an internationally known AML specialist at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, could change how doctors manage these patients.

The retrospective study shows that people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) whose leukemic cells have mutations in the RAS gene are more likely to be cured when treated after remission with high doses of the drug cytarabine.

It also suggests that testing for RAS mutations might help doctors identify which AML patients should receive high-dose cytarabine as their post-remission therapy.

"This appears to be the first example in AML of a mutation in an oncogene that favorably modifies a patient's response to the dose of a routinely used chemotherapeutic drug," Bloomfield says.

"If confirmed, AML patients in the future will likely be screened for RAS mutations, and those who have one may get high-dose cytarabine for post-remission therapy rather than a stem-cell transplant."

Typically, people with newly diagnosed AML are treated first with drugs intended to drive the disease into complete remission, Bloomfield says. When that is achieved, patients are given additional chemotherapy, such as high-dose cytarabine, or more aggressive therapy, such as a stem cell transplant, to prevent relapse and to cure the malignancy.

But high-dose cytarabine is the better therapy for some patients, and the findings of this study may enable doctors to identify those individuals.

The research analyzed the outcome of 185 AML patients age 60 or less who had achieved complete remission following initial therapy. Thirty-four of the patients (18 percent) had mutations in the RAS gene, and of these, 22 received high-dose cytarabine and 12 received the drug at low dose.

The high-dose patients with RAS mutations had the lowest relapse rate -- 45 percent experienced disease recurrence after an average 10-year follow-up compared with 68 percent for those with normal RAS genes.

"That means fifty-five percent of patients with RAS mutations were cured compared with 32 percent of high-dose patients with normal RAS," Bloomfield says.

Of patients who received low doses of the drug, all those with the mutations relapsed, as did 80 percent of those with normal RAS genes.

"These data strongly suggest that mutations in RAS influence the response of AML patients to high-dose cytarabine, and they support the use of these mutations as biomarkers for this therapy," says Bloomfield, who is also a Distinguished University Professor, the William G. Pace III Professor in Cancer Research and an OSU Cancer Scholar.

The research is published online in the June 16 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology with an accompanying editorial.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "Gene Mutation Improves Leukemia Drug's Effect, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617142854.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2008, June 23). Gene Mutation Improves Leukemia Drug's Effect, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617142854.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "Gene Mutation Improves Leukemia Drug's Effect, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617142854.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins