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Way to overcome radiation resistance in leukemia discovered

Date:
September 30, 2010
Source:
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Summary:
Radiation resistance in leukemia can be overcome by selectively attacking a molecular target known as SYK tyrosine kinase, according to new research.

This is Fatih Uckun, M.D., Ph.D., of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Credit: Courtesy of Dr Uckun

A team of researchers lead by Fatih M. Uckun, MD, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles has determined that radiation resistance in leukemia can be overcome by selectively attacking a molecular target known as SYK tyrosine kinase.

B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer occurring in children and adolescents. Despite having received intensive chemotherapy, some patients have recurring disease, known as relapse. For these individuals, the prospect of long-term survival is poor.

The standard approach to treating relapsed patients has been additional chemotherapy to achieve a second remission followed by very intensive treatment that could include "supralethal" chemotherapy, total-body irradiation (TBI), and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. However, radiation resistance of leukemia cells hampers the success of these rigorous therapeutic approaches and results in poor survival.

"We knew that we could kill radiation-resistant leukemia cells if we only knew what made them so resistant. So we set out to determine the mechanism," said Dr. Uckun, who is also professor of Research Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. "Once we determined the mechanism, the next step was obvious -- to rationally design a drug that would take out that specific target."

Uckun's research team has now provided the first proof-of-principle that radiation resistance of an aggressive leukemia can indeed be overcome using this rationally-designed specific drug directed against the resistance machinery of leukemia cells.

"Radiation therapy was much more effective against leukemia in mice when it was combined with this new drug candidate that we named C-61," said Dr. Uckun.

The results of the study will be published in the October 2010 issue of Radiation Research, the official journal of the Radiation Research Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F. M. Uckun, I. Dibirdik, S. Qaz. ugmentation of the Antileukemia Potency of Total-Body Irradiation (TBI) by a Novel P-site Inhibitor of Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (SYK). Radiation Research, October 2010, Vol. 174, No. 4, pp. 526-531

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "Way to overcome radiation resistance in leukemia discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930101556.htm>.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles. (2010, September 30). Way to overcome radiation resistance in leukemia discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930101556.htm
Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "Way to overcome radiation resistance in leukemia discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930101556.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

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