Acute leukemia: Drug trials show 50% cure rate
Scientists believe they have developed a new biological drug for acute myeloid leukemia.
While new treatments have been discovered for other cancers, there has been no encouraging news for most leukemia patients for the past 40 years. Until now.
As yet, most of the biological cancer drugs used to treat leukemia only target individual leukemic cell proteins. However, during "targeted therapy" treatments, leukemic cells activate their other proteins to block the medicine. The new drug developed by Ben-Neriah and his team functions like a cluster bomb. It targets several leukemic proteins at the same time, making it difficult for the leukemia cells to activate other proteins that can avoid the therapy.
This single molecule drug accomplishes the work of three or four separate drugs, reducing the need for patients to be exposed to several therapies.
"We were thrilled to see such a dramatic change even after only a single dose of the new drug. Nearly all of the lab mice's' leukemia signs disappeared overnight," said professor Ben-Neriah.