Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Towards a more efficient therapy for a specific form of leukemia

Date:
June 14, 2011
Source:
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Summary:
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a particular form of leukemia or cancer of the bone marrow, which can be treated with targeted imatinib. However, in some cases this medicine has no effect. Researchers have now investigated the role of placental growth factor (PlGF) in mice with CML. Blocking this growth factor increases the life expectancy of these mice, even in those resistant to imatinib.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a particular form of leukemia or cancer of the bone marrow, which can be treated with targeted imatinib. However, in some cases this medicine has no effect. Researchers at the VIB Vesalius Research Centre, K.U. Leuven, under the direction of Peter Carmeliet, have investigated the role of placental growth factor (PlGF) in mice with CML. Blocking this growth factor increases the life expectancy of these mice, even in those resistant to imatinib.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)

In our body, white blood cells combat foreign intruders, such as viruses and bacteria. In chronic myeloid leukemia, the formation of granulocytes, a particular type of white blood cells, is disturbed. The cells in the bone marrow which should grow into white blood cells show an uncontrolled increase in numbers as a result of a disruption in the maturing process. This uncontrolled growth may damage various tissues and adversely affect the production of normal blood cells in the bone marrow. A shortage of white blood cells makes patients more susceptible to infection.

The Philadelphia chromosome and imatinib

Under normal circumstances, our body very accurately regulates the production of white blood cells. This process is triggered by targeted activation of tyrosine kinase. In most forms of CML, a deviant chromosome is present -- the Philadelphia chromosome -- which gives rise to BCR-ABL1 fusion kinase. This kinase causes the trouble, leading to the increase in CML cells. Existing medicines (imatinib) therefore target this kinase.

While the effect of imatinib in CML patients is usually quite favorable, the use of imatinib is often not sufficient to remove the diseased cells from the body. Sometimes the disease is already too advanced at the start of treatment, or there is resistance.

Placental growth factor

Researchers from the team headed by Peter Carmeliet have studied the role of placental growth factor (PlGF) in leukemia and the therapeutic potential of PIGF inhibitors. Recent research conducted by Peter Carmeliet had already shown that antibodies against PlGF (antiPlGF) can inhibit the growth of particular tumors.

The present study proves that PlGF also plays a role in CML. The researchers have recorded increased PIGF values in both mice and humans. It appears that PIGF does not only stimulate the division of CML cells but also encourages the formation of blood vessels in bone marrow. Finally, inhibiting PlGF in mice with CML leads to higher life expectancy, even in those mice that are resistant to the current medicine imatinib. All of these findings indicate that the therapeutic potential of PIGF inhibitors in CML needs to be investigated further.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Schmidt et al. Loss or inhibition of stromal-derived PlGF prolongs survival of mice with imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL1 leukemia. Cancer Cell, 2011

Cite This Page:

VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Towards a more efficient therapy for a specific form of leukemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614083959.htm>.
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). (2011, June 14). Towards a more efficient therapy for a specific form of leukemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614083959.htm
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Towards a more efficient therapy for a specific form of leukemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614083959.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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