Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study points way to development of drugs for deadly childhood leukemia

Date:
December 16, 2009
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
A new study could point the way to the development of better drugs to fight a deadly form of childhood leukemia called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL).

A new study could point the way to the development of better drugs to fight a deadly form of childhood leukemia called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL).

Related Articles


The study will help researchers in their search for what could be the first highly effective drug for MLL. Such a drug would work by disabling a protein that turns normal blood cells into cancer cells.

Researchers from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and the University of Virginia reported results online Dec. 13 in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

"This hopefully will lead to an effective therapeutic approach for patients who generally do not do well with current treatments," said second senior author Nancy Zeleznik-Le, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Medicine at Loyola Stritch.

Acute MLL accounts for about 80 percent of infant leukemias. While survival rates for most types of childhood leukemia are high, only about one-third of patients with MLL live longer than five years. Existing drugs have limited effectiveness and often cause toxic side effects.

MLL is caused by a critical gene that regulates hundreds of other genes in blood cells. The problem occurs when this regulatory gene breaks in half and another gene attaches to it, creating a fusion gene. It's this fusion gene that turns a normal cell into a proliferating cancer cell.

This fusion gene codes for a MLL fusion protein. The MLL fusion protein in turn binds to hundreds of other genes. Consequently, these genes are permanently turned on. So instead of aging and dying like a normal cell, the cell turns cancerous, continually growing and dividing into new cancer cells.

The finding will be a big help in the effort to develop a drug that prevents the MLL fusion protein from binding to other genes, Zeleznik-Le said. The National Institutes of Health has begun screening compounds that might prevent such binding. Zeleznik-Le said researchers likely will be ready to test potential drug compounds on laboratory animals within a year.

The study's first-authors are Laurie Risner, a doctoral student at Loyola Stritch and Tomasz Cierpicki, PhD, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Virginia. Other authors are John Bushweller, PhD, Monika Omonkowska, PhD and David Shultis, PhD of the University of Virginia. Bushweller is first senior author.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Study points way to development of drugs for deadly childhood leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214152016.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2009, December 16). Study points way to development of drugs for deadly childhood leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214152016.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Study points way to development of drugs for deadly childhood leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214152016.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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