APR 21, 2020 1:32 AM PDT

Classic Chemotherapeutic Repurposed for Treating Leukemia

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

 

Researchers were seeking a promising new strategy to challenge drug resistance in leukemia. They found that targeted low doses of the widely-used chemotherapy drug doxorubicin is effective in overcoming resistance by leukemic cells.

"In low doses, doxorubicin actually stimulated the immune system, in contrast with the typical clinical doses, which were immunosuppressive, killing healthy immune cells indiscriminately," says John M. Perry, PhD, a researcher with the Children's Mercy Research Institute at Children's Mercy. He completed his postdoctoral work at Stowers and is first author of the report.

Doxorubicin is an anthracycline antibiotic that inhibits the interaction of two molecular pathways— Wnt/beta-catenin and PI3K/Akt--that promote tumor growth.

"Our idea was to find a drug with the goal of blocking the interaction between Wnt/beta-catenin and PI3K/Akt and reduce the toxicity," says Stowers Institute Investigator Linheng Li, PhD.

Findings were published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

"We found that mice receiving patient sample transplants with therapy-resistant leukemia stem cells rapidly developed leukemia, but low-dose doxorubicin treatment improved survival by reducing leukemia stem cells," Perry says. "However, mice receiving patient sample transplants that did not contain therapy-resistant leukemia stem cells did not respond to low-dose doxorubicin treatment. These results showed that chemoresistant leukemia stem cells from patients could be functionally reduced with low-dose doxorubicin treatment, at least in an in vivo animal model assay."

Learn more about overcoming drug resistance in leukemia:

"The research holds promise as a more effective strategy to overcome cancer therapy resistance and immune escape that can be used in combination with other cancer therapies including chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy for patients with leukemia and other types of cancer," Li says.

Source: Science Daily

 

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 08, 2020
Neuroscience
New Way to Restore Fatty Myelin Sheaths on Nerve Cells
NOV 08, 2020
New Way to Restore Fatty Myelin Sheaths on Nerve Cells
Researchers from the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center in the US have discovered a new approach to restore myelin sheaths, ...
NOV 08, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
NOV 08, 2020
Psychedelic DMT Improves Memory by Neurogenesis
Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain have found that dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the psychoactiv ...
NOV 18, 2020
Cancer
Could Targeting the Proteasome be Effective Against Cancer?
NOV 18, 2020
Could Targeting the Proteasome be Effective Against Cancer?
One of the trickiest things about anti-cancer drug design is targeting. Today, most drugs on the market target critical ...
NOV 26, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Sestrin Increases the Lifespan of Fruit Flies
NOV 26, 2020
Sestrin Increases the Lifespan of Fruit Flies
Reduced food intake, known as dietary restriction, leads to a longer lifespan in many animals and can improve health in ...
DEC 18, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Antibiotic Reduces Risk of Deafness
DEC 18, 2020
Antibiotic Reduces Risk of Deafness
Gentamicin is an antibiotic recently shown to reduce the risk of developing deafness according to a Stanford Medicine st ...
DEC 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Antifungal Drug May Treat Cystic Fibrosis
DEC 20, 2020
Antifungal Drug May Treat Cystic Fibrosis
A fungal-targeting drug was shown to improve symptoms of cystic fibrosis particularly key biomarkers in lung tissue cult ...
Loading Comments...