Friday, 31 August 2007

FTY720 could be a new weapon in the fight against leukemia

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Researchers from Ohio State University, Columbus, led by Daniolo Perrotti, have shown that a drug known as FTY720 prevents disease in a mouse model of many leukemias caused by BCR-ABL. Nearly all cases of chronic myeloid leukemia [CML-BC] and some cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia [ALL] are caused by changes to BCR-ABL. The drug also caused cells from human cell lines to die in vitro.
FTY720 does not directly target the BCR-ABL kinase, but instead activates phosphatase 2A (PP2A) which is a tumor suppressor that is inactivated by BCR-ABL. There were no adverse effects seen in the mice and no adverse effects in clinical trials for multiple sclerosis.

The authors believe that this study shows strong support for the use of FTY720 as a novel therapeutic for CML and ALL that is not responsive to current treatments with kinase inhibitors.

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