Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a commonly occurring blood disease that starts with the stem cells and has been killing about 10,000 people annually in Canada and the US.
The disease that remains ineffective even after treatment with chemotherapy. Though chemotherapy has been used to treat it zero response was showed by one-third individuals and many relapsed after an early response.
A remarkable discovery has been published in a leading cancer journal that scientists at the University of Ottawa have discovered a treatment for the disease which was experimented on a mouse model. 100% results were obtained. The research has been possible due to generous contributions of Ottawa Hospital, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Research Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health and Research.
MTF2 is a protein that puts chemical tags near genes which helps them in proper gene expression. Dr. Stanford and Dr. Mitchell Sabloff initially worked thinking that this protein might be a biomarker in identifying those patients which could receive a benefit from therapies. They also found that patients with normal MTF2 activity survived longer than those with improper MTF2 activity.
MDM2 gene is the one that helps in creating resistance against chemotherapy. In AML cells with normal MTF2, MDM2 is lowered and cancerous cells die from chemotherapy while the opposite occurs in when MTF2 activity is abnormal and cancerous cells resist to die from the treatment.
The research is being done to create drugs that are MDM2 blockers. Dr. Sabloff believes that this would create a difference and he thanks those who donate blood and bone marrow for research. The experiment was performed on a mouse model where those with MDM2 Inhibitor and chemotherapy survived but chemotherapy alone couldn’t prove effective.
Research is still being performed to find more MDM2 blocking agents and to create such chemotherapies which the cancerous cells could not resist.