Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Therapies for ALL and AML targeting MER receptor hold promise of more effect with less side-effect

Date:
March 11, 2013
Source:
University of Colorado Denver
Summary:
Studies show that the protein receptor Mer is overexpressed in many leukemias, and that inhibition of this Mer receptor results in the death of leukemia cells -- without affecting surrounding, healthy cells.

Two University of Colorado Cancer Center studies show that the protein receptor Mer is overexpressed in many leukemias, and that inhibition of this Mer receptor results in the death of leukemia cells -- without affecting surrounding, healthy cells.

The first study, published today in the journal Oncogene, worked with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), for which current chemotherapies offer a cure rate of only about 55 percent.

"In about 2/3 of all AML patients and about 90 percent of adult AML patients, we found that the Mer receptor was upregulated. Mer receptor protein shouldn't exist in normal myeloid cells, but we found it abnormally expressed," says Doug Graham, MD, PhD, investigator at the CU Cancer Center and associate professor of pediatrics and immunology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The Mer receptor sits within the cell membrane, and when it becomes activated the cell receives signals to grow and survive. Leukemia and perhaps many solid cancers have taken advantage of Mer's cell survival function to assist the cancer's rampant proliferation. When Graham and colleagues used shRNA to silence the production of Mer in leukemia cells, they showed decreased leukemia cell survival, increased sensitivity to existing chemotherapies and longer survival in mouse models of leukemia.

A second study, published this month in Blood Cancer Journal, shows similar results with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common pediatric cancer.

"The ALL cure rate is already over 80 percent, but for patients who relapse, the prognosis is much less optimistic. We need targeted therapies to use as second-line treatments for the population for whom existing therapies aren't lasting, particularly in patients with relapsed T cell ALL," Graham says.

Second, he points out that a quarter of pediatric ALL patients who respond to existing chemotherapies do so at the price of significant long-term side-effects. "And so in addition to increased survival, the second goal of targeted therapies is decreased side-effects," Graham says.

Inhibition of the Mer protein receptor is promising on both accounts.

"Not only do B-cell and T-cell leukemia cells die when you knock down Mer receptor expression, but these cells are also much more sensitive to existing chemotherapies. By hitting Mer, we're making the chemotherapy more effective," Graham says.

In ALL and AML, Graham's studies show that making Mer inhibition means that less chemotherapy may have equal or stronger effect. Strong preliminary evidence shows that Mer may be the key to less toxic, more effective therapies for leukemia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado Denver. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. A B Lee-Sherick, K M Eisenman, S Sather, A McGranahan, P M Armistead, C S McGary, S A Hunsucker, J Schlegel, H Martinson, C Cannon, A K Keating, H S Earp, X Liang, D DeRyckere, D K Graham. Aberrant Mer receptor tyrosine kinase expression contributes to leukemogenesis in acute myeloid leukemia. Oncogene, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/onc.2013.40
  2. L N Brandao, A Winges, S Christoph, S Sather, J Migdall-Wilson, J Schlegel, A McGranahan, D Gao, X Liang, D DeRyckere, D K Graham. Inhibition of MerTK increases chemosensitivity and decreases oncogenic potential in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood Cancer Journal, 2013; 3 (1): e101 DOI: 10.1038/bcj.2012.46

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado Denver. "Therapies for ALL and AML targeting MER receptor hold promise of more effect with less side-effect." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311091529.htm>.
University of Colorado Denver. (2013, March 11). Therapies for ALL and AML targeting MER receptor hold promise of more effect with less side-effect. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311091529.htm
University of Colorado Denver. "Therapies for ALL and AML targeting MER receptor hold promise of more effect with less side-effect." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130311091529.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. 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:

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