A new pathway with regard to the progression of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) has reportedly been identified by US based scientists. They have also found out that an extract from the plant coleus forskohlii's root, which is called forskolin can be used for suppressing the process. As many as 4,600 people in the US alone are expected to develop CML this year, and the findings may contribute towards their treatment options.
Many of the patients suffering from this condition have already developed a resistance to the Gleevec drug which is commonly used. The ability of the cancer cells to grow is reduced by 90% by forskolin, according to the research. Normal cell functioning can also be reinstated by forskolin, according to the study. CML results in the creation of Bcr-Abl which is a cancer-causing enzyme.
People who suffer from the early stages of the disease are usually not aware that they are suffering from the condition, when the drug Gleevec can be effectively put to use. Even though doctors were aware of the symptoms of CML, they were not aware as to what actually caused the disease to progress.
Extensive genetic and chemical tests have revealed that a protein called SET is stimulated by Bcr-Abl, which serves to inhibit the phosphatase PP2A, thus permitting cancer cells to grow freely. The PP2A function can be restored by forskolin, according to the research, while it will not adversely affect normal cells.