Novel drug shows promise against acute myeloid leukemia
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VIDEO: In this video of cancer cells, each flickering white spot means that the stapled peptide drug has turned on previously-inactivated p53 tumor suppressor protein. view more 

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Credit: Adrien Senecal, Robert H. Singer, and Robert A. Coleman (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

April 11, 2018–(BRONX, NY)–In a study published online today in Science Translational Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers report that an experimental peptide (small protein) drug shows promise against the often-lethal cancer acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and describe how the drug works at the molecular level. The findings have led to a Phase I/II clinical trial for patients with advanced AML and advanced myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), now underway at Montefiore Health System.

In preclinical studies, the experimental drug–ALRN-6924–tripled the median survival rate in an animal model of human AML (mice transplanted with human leukemia cells) from 50 to about 150 days.

“This is a very striking response,” said study leader Ulrich Steidl, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cell biology and of medicine and the Diane and Arthur B. Belfer Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research at Einstein and associate chair for translational research in oncology at Montefiore. “Most experimental drugs for leukemia achieve an increase in survival of only a

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