Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Systems medicine paves way for improved treatment for leukemia patients

Date:
December 12, 2013
Source:
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Summary:
A new individualized systems medicine strategy enables a selection of potentially effective cancer therapies for individual patients. These are promising results achieved by applying this strategy to chemoresistant adult acute myeloid leukemia patients.

Bone marrow smear from a patient having acute myeloid leukemia.
Credit: Caroline Heckman

A new individualized systems medicine strategy, developed at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM and the Helsinki University Central Hospital, enables a selection of potentially effective cancer therapies for individual patients. The promising results achieved by applying this strategy to chemoresistant adult acute myeloid leukemia patients have been recently published in the Cancer Discovery journal.

Related Articles


A multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, FIMM, and the Helsinki University Central Hospital has developed a novel individualized systems medicine (ISM) strategy which enables selection of potentially effective cancer therapies for individual patients. Furthermore, this strategy helps in understanding and predicting drug resistance and may pave a path for individualized optimization of patient therapies in the clinic for various types of cancers.

Many novel targeted drugs have been introduced to the clinic for cancer therapy, often guided by genomic clues on disease pathogenesis. Clinical treatment of cancer patients is, however, challenged by the fact that genomics is often not informative in selecting therapies to individual patients. Patients also often develop resistance to therapies that were initially effective. Furthermore, tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution over time within an individual patient make it difficult to apply cancer genomics as a guide to patient therapy.

ISM combines genomics with comprehensive drug sensitivity testing of patient cells to facilitate optimization of safe and efficacious cancer therapies for individual patients. Furthermore, the ISM strategy aids in understanding and predicting how drug resistance evolves and how it may be prevented.

Results achieved by applying this strategy to 28 patient samples have been recently published in the Cancer Discovery journal.

Most of the patients studied had chemoresistant adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a disease characterized by poor prognosis. AML is today largely treated by the same chemotherapeutic agents as applied 30-50 years ago. Here, the researchers measured the response of patients' cells to a panel of 202 cancer drugs covering all approved and many emerging cancer drugs. A list of the most likely effective and ineffective drugs was created for each individual patient and passed on to the treating physician to consider.

Several patients benefited from the therapy selected based on the drug sensitivity testing results. For example, one patient previously unresponsive to three rounds of chemotherapy achieved complete clinical remission with a treatment optimized with the ISM platform.

"We integrate three complementary information sources, drug testing results, genomic profiling of cancer cells and clinical information. Repeated sampling of patients plays a major role in understanding and learning from each success and failure," explains Krister Wennerberg, one of the principal investigators behind this study.

"We are very excited about this ability to provide a truly individualized approach to patient treatment," says hematologist Kimmo Porkka. "In the future, this may pave the way for testing of all types of human cancers."

"It is also important to note that we now tested severely ill patients, completely refractory to current therapies," says Director Olli Kallioniemi from FIMM. "In the future, we hope to impact on therapy of earlier leukemia patients and design effective combinations of treatments."

With the ISM strategy, researchers are now able to generate hypotheses to be tested in clinical trials, both for existing drugs, emerging compounds and their combinations. In addition, this approach provides a way to prioritize emerging drugs that are likely to have the best success in clinical trials and ultimately reach routine patient care. Therefore, ISM may pave a path for optimizing pharmaceutical drug development pipelines as well as changing the standard of clinical care so that all patients receive individualized treatment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pemovska T, Kontro M, Yadav B, Edgren H, Eldfors S, Szwajda A, Almusa H, Bespalov MM, Ellonen P, Elonen E, Gjertsen BT, Karjalainen R, Kulesskiy E, Lagström S, Lehto A, Lepistö M, Lundán T, Majumder MM, Lopez Marti JM, Mattila P, Murumägi A, Mustjoki S, Palva A, Parsons A, Pirttinen T, Rämet ME, Suvela M, Turunen L, Västrik I, Wolf M, Knowles J, Aittokallio T, Heckman CA, Porkka K, Kallioniemi O, Wennerberg K. Individualized Systems Medicine (ISM) strategy to tailor treatments for patients with chemorefractory acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer Discovery, December 2013

Cite This Page:

Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Systems medicine paves way for improved treatment for leukemia patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212095820.htm>.
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). (2013, December 12). Systems medicine paves way for improved treatment for leukemia patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212095820.htm
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Systems medicine paves way for improved treatment for leukemia patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212095820.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 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