Business Standard

Drug combo may prove effective against leukaemia


Researchers claim to have found a combination of existing drugs which can be effective against blood cancer that affects mainly older adults.
Researchers tested to see if existing drug arsenic trioxide (ATO) was effective in combination with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) in both the mouse model and in humans.
They determined that the combination proved 'powerfully and exquisitely effective' against acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
While most patients initially respond to chemotherapy against (AML), more than half of those who respond will eventually relapse as the cancer cells develop resistance to treatment.
"There is an acute need to develop rational combinations to treat disease and overcome resistance that arises in response to therapy. By providing a critical understanding of the mechanisms underlying the disease, we identified a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of this type of AML," said Pandolfi, one of the researchers.
The experiment identified key processes these cancer cells use to develop or evolve against drug in response to therapies according to the study published in the Journal of Cell Research.
Moreover, the team demonstrated that a combination of drugs already in use for the treatment of another type of leukaemia worked equally as well against this form of AML in both in vitro and in vivo setting.
Another form of leukaemia known as acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) was once a fatal diagnosis. It is now considered a curable disease, thanks to researchers who demonstrated that arsenic trioxide (ATO) was effective against APL in combination with another drug called all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA).
They determined that, while the drugs target different vulnerabilities in the different forms of leukaemia, the combination proved "powerfully and exquisitely effective" against this subset of AML.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 7:56 PM IST

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