continues to be a major health concern
throughout the world. The recurrent nature of the disease after initial
treatment makes it a constant source of worry.. While some cancers are common
in older individuals, others affect children more often. While some cancers can
be treated with the available drugs, there are some that are extremely
resistant to treatment.
‘Drugs against a new molecular target could contribute to curing chronic myeloid leukemia.’
Based on their research on laboratory mice, researchers
from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centerfound two signaling proteins c-Fos and Dusp1
that promote the growth of certain cancers
; targeting them along
with other chemotherapy medications could help to cure the cancers
"We think that
within the next five years our data will change the way people think about
cancer development and targeted therapy," said Mohammad Azam, PhD, lead
investigator and a member of the Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer
. "This study identifies a potential Achilles heel of
kinase-driven cancers and what we propose is intended to be curative, not just
The research team worked
on a type of blood cancer called chronic myeloid (CML)
. CML is treated with a
chemotherapy drug called imatinib. Imatinib, however, gives only temporary
relief and the cancer recurs. The BCR-ABL gene, formed by the fusion of the BCR
gene from chromosome 22 and the ABL gene from chromosome 9, promotes the growth
of CML. The cancer cells also have high levels of the c-Fos and Dusp1 proteins,
which increase resistance to treatment.
researchers used three different models - mouse models of CML, human CML cells,
and mice transplanted with human leukemia cells to test three types of
of c-Fos and Dusp1
combination of the above treatments
expected, the best response was obtained with the combination therapy
administered for a month, with a cure noted in 90% mice.
The research team also
worked on another type of blood cancer called B-cell acute lymphoblastic
. They found that removal of the genes that produce c-Fos
and Dusp1 resulted in an eradication of the cancer in mouse models.
targeted against c-Fos and Dusp1, feel the researchers, will also be effective
in acute myeloid leukemia promoted by the presence of
FLT3 gene, lung cancers promoted by the presence of the EGFR
and PDGFR, and breast cancers that are positive for the HER-2 gene.
The study provides new targets for the
development of medications that could possibly cure deadly cancers when used
with available medications. More research in this direction can provide
solutions to the treatment of resistant cancers.