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Study reveals new drug therapy for leukemia patients

ANI | Updated: Feb 20, 2021 23:11 IST

Washington [US], February 20 (ANI): A clinical study by the scientists of McMaster University claims to have taken an early step towards drug therapy for acute myeloid leukemia patients.
During the research published in the Cell Reports Medicine journal, the team discovered that for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, there is a dopamine receptor pathway that becomes abnormally activated in the cancer stem cells. This inspired the clinical investigation of a dopamine receptor-inhibiting drug thioridazine as a new therapy for patients, and their focus on adult AML has revealed encouraging results.
AML is a particularly deadly cancer that starts with a DNA mutation in the blood stem cells of the bone marrow that produce too many infection-fighting white blood cells. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, about 21% of people diagnosed with AML will survive at least five years.

"We have successfully understood the mechanism by which the drug benefited patients, and we are using this information to develop a new, more tolerable formulation of the drug that is likely to work in some of the patients," said senior author of the paper Mick Bhatia, a professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster. He also holds the Canada Research Chair in Human Stem Cell Biology.
Bhatia said the team has continued to carefully analyze and further refine their therapeutic approach and results of the initial trial.
"Together, these achievements highlight the importance of the new paradigm of that issues impacting patients can be taken to the lab bench and solutions back to patients. These "bed to the bench, and back to bed" approaches and partnerships to advance novel therapeutics Canadians suffering from cancer," he added. (ANI)