New treatment destroys more than 90% of cells with leukemia
The treatment test performed on rats was able to kill more than 90% of Leukemia Myeloid Chronic (CML) in stem cells. Currently, patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia have little chance of cure unless they undergo bone marrow transplantation.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a non-hereditary, rare type of cancer that develops in the bone marrow . In it, normal stem cells are transformed into cancerous.
This type of leukemia accounts for 15% to 20% of all cases of leukemia among the Western population. About 700 people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease each year. In most cases, it occurs in adults in the 50's age group, only 4% of the patients are children.
At present, treatment options for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia depend on the stage of the disease (chronic, age, prognostic factors and the availability of a compatible donor. However, standard treatment with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, such as imatinib, nilotinib or dasatinib, which, in addition to being difficult to find, can cause serious side effects in some patients.
The new drug works by inhibiting the activity of a protein called EZH2, responsible for the survival of other types of cancer cells. "This discovery, based on seven years of experimental work, is a great example of precision medicine - finding drugs that aim to kill just the cells, stem cells from this form of leukemia, leaving normal cells unharmed, "said researcher Dr. David Vetrie.
Scientists believe that by giving patients this new drug alongside already used treatments, they can kill the leukemic cells, limiting the chances of the disease coming back. In addition, the first results in clinical trials had few side effects.
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