New treatment potential for drug-resistant leukaemia

10 February 2015

A team from the Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM), the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Central Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center, have identified a potential new avenue for treating drug-resistant leukaemia.

The Finnish researchers uncovered an unrecognised effect of a commonly used drug, which could enable it to inhibit a dominant mutation that triggers drug resistance in leukaemia.

Published in the journal Nature, the team studied cancer cells from patients with chronic myelogenous and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia(CML and ALL) who had all developed resistance to previous treatments.

Resistance to treatment is caused by a mutation in a specific fusion protein - BCR-ABL1 - which drives the cancers. 

Olli Kallioniemi, the director of FIMM, said the findings "highlight the power of drug repositioning" and searching for new uses for existing, emerging or abandoned drugs. 

"This study shows what can be achieved when academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies team up to study effects of drugs using cells directly obtained from patients," he added.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)